There's a new way to reach out for help during an emergency.
People now have the option to send a text message to 911 from anywhere in Massachusetts, public safety officials announced Wednesday. All call centers in the state have been upgraded with the capability to receive texts.
Residents should still pick up the phone to dial 911 when they can, though. State public safety officials are asking people to text during an emergency only when a phone call is not possible, such as in a domestic violence or hostage situation.
Frank Pozniak, executive director of the state 911 Department, says it could also be a great resource for people with a speech or hearing impairment.
Anyone who does send a text during an emergency is asked to begin the message with their location, since the 911 call center may not always have an exact location when it receives the message.