Wilson County residents and visitors can now text 911 for help

Wilson County residents and visitors can now text 9-1-1
Posted at 6:48 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 11:42:18-05

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Everyone knows if you're in an emergency, call 911. But what do you do if calling isn't an option? A safer alternative for people in Wilson County could mean help is just a text message away.

"So texting 911 is an option in the event that a voice call can't be made or should not be made," said Public Information Officer and Emergency Communications Officer for Wilson County 911, Bridgett Clark.

Whether you're hard of hearing, unable to speak into the phone, or it's just too dangerous to speak out loud- texting may be the safest option.

"The alert for a text message coming into our facility is different than a voice call so we know that we have a text message and it's handled as quickly as any other call. So they are a top priority just the same as a voice call," said Clark.

If you do decide to text 911, first responders say there is crucial information that you must remember to include in the text. "You simply put the 911 in the telephone number line and then you type in your message. That message should be that whatever emergency it is is going on and your location- your location is the most important information you can get to us," said Clark.

Wilson is now the tenth county in the state to unveil the option. So if you try to text 911 outside of Wilson County, be aware your text might not go through. "So we say call if you can, but text if you must," said Clark.

Wilson County 911 also suggests you download the "Smart911" app on your cell phone so that first responders can be better equipped with information about you when responding to your emergency.