McLean County rolling out 911 text option

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 8:47 PM CDT
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MCLEAN COUNTY (25 News Now) - Starting on Monday, you can now text 911 in an emergency in McLean County. Director of the McLean County 911 Communication center Rhonda Flegel said they rolled this out to provide those who can’t call a way to get help.

“It’s going to be just like calling you’re 911. It’ll just be a text message. You’ll still be talking to a 911 operator in the center and then the messages will just go back and forth until they’re done answering the question,” Flegel said.

A text or data plan is required to place a Text-to-911.

The county said when texting, it would be best to be concise and include your location and if you don’t get a text back from 911, try another way to contact them.

Members of the community that we spoke to were on board with the new feature.

“It’s good, I think it will make people feel a little more comfortable because a lot of times it is a little pressuring to be the one to make the phone call to 911 so having that option to remain anonymous is you want to,” Illinois State University Bree McCall said.

Some believed this would increase accessibility.

“There are lot more options for people. If you’re deaf or mute, you can’t really call 911, so it’s a huge benefit,” student Tori Larrabee said.

McLean County 911 said calling was still the better choice if you could.