Franklin County has joined about a dozen others in Ohio by now allowing 911 emergency text messages.
Commissioner Marilyn Brown chairs the county's 911 planning committee.
Westerville communications manager Holly Wayt also serves as president of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials. Wayt says the text to 911 service will especially benefit residents who are deaf, experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss, or have a speech impairment.
The overriding message from safety officials to residents in emergencies - call if you can, text if you can't. The $2.5 million program is funded by fees paid by device users on their monthly bills. Delaware County is the only other jurisdiction in central Ohio using the text-to-911 service.