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Senate votes to add 911 texting in all Tennessee counties

Wilson County residents and visitors can now text 9-1-1
Posted at 6:51 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 09:30:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Text to 911 could be coming to every county in Tennessee following a big vote in the state Senate Thursday.

A bill to create the program by January 1, 2023, passed the full Senate floor with no opposition. The sponsor, Knoxville Senator Becky Massey, said she thinks it will save lives.

"I had a constituent that came to me that is deaf and she was in a wreck, actually hit a hearse which makes it even more nerve-wracking. Called her husband but couldn't even speak. So, thank goodness there was a bystander who was able to text," said Sen. Massey.

She also said it could help people who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or mass shooting situations.

"There's 11 districts that already have it, 38 that are already in the process but we want to set the statewide standard to make that available to the people who really need it and can't communicate verbally to 911," she said.

The House still has to vote on the bill and Governor Bill Lee signs it before it becomes law.