‘Text to 911’ system now available in Tuscaloosa County

Local News

NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuscaloosa County first responders have new technology to help people during emergencies.

It is called “Text to 911”, citizens can now send a text message when they need help.  That text will be routed to the 911 center and will show up on a dispatcher’s computer screen. 

Rod Coleman is the Tuscaloosa County 911 Director.  He says it’s a simple system to use, residents can just pick up a cell phone and text 911, type a short message with details about your emergency and add your location.

“The hearing impaired can use it and speech impaired or someone in a domestic violence situation or hostage situation or a home invasion when you need to be quiet but need to reach 911,” Coleman said. 

The agencies in the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations Center consist of Tuscaloosa County 9-1-1, Tuscaloosa Police Department, Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue, Northport Police Department, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, University of Alabama Police Department and Northstar EMS.

CBS 42 spoke with some Northport residents who are glad the system is available.  Martha Cameron believes Text to 911 will help people in times of emergencies.

“You always have your cell phone, everyone has their cell phone it’s easy and everyone knows how to text,” Cameron said. “So it’s just a good tool to have”.

Gerald Goodman agrees, he is 82 years old and has had health problems.

“I think it’s great, I’ve had two heart surgeries, and if I have had that I could have got to the hospital quicker so I like it and support it,” Goodman said.

 The new system went online one week ago and is a free service.  The 911 center in Northport did not have to pay for the system.  It was provided by the State of Alabama at no charge.


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