Text 911 In Case Of Emergency

Text 911 In Case Of Emergency

Caitlin Williams

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - We're a technological advanced culture of texters and typers, but not every West Texan is on board when it comes to texting their emergency to 911.

"I think i would rather call 911 instead of text. It's simpler. It's a lot easier for me," says one local.

"I think if you're really in an emergency, you don't have time to really text. You can make a call, get the information out there and get the help that you need," said resident Kenny Mangus.

Other locals say this is a good idea in certain situations - not while they are behind the wheel.

"I think in emergencies, in your own home, in your privacy, that that's okay," said Evelyn Brewer. "But I don't want to get run over out there."

To use the feature, person would just have to text 911 their emergency with the address, and dispatchers can text them back.

"If you give us the correct information, we can get to the correct location," says Odessa Dispatch No. 3, Cynthia Scott. "We'll need their addresses because we cannot trace a 911 cell phone so we'd have to get their address."

The feature is beneficial for people with hearing or speech impairments but some people are abusing it.

"One that we've received, she'll just text random messages and we have to check it out to make sure it's not a call, but a lot of time she's just ranting about nothing," explained Scott.

Just like with calling 911, prank texts or false reports via text are illegal and you could be prosecuted.