Soon there will be another way to reach 9-1-1 in Barren and Metcalfe counties... a text message.
The idea to be able to contact 9-1-1 by text is something that has been an idea for Barren- Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center for many years, but now the dispatch center is finally able to start the process.
"The text to 9-1-1 is unique in that we have been trying to do this for several, several years. It's been in place to have text to 9-1-1 since about 2009, but as a state we have not moved forward progressively to do that." says Chris Freeman, the Director of the Barren- Metcalfe Emergency Communications Center.
Barren and Metcalfe counties will be two of only five counties in Kentucky who have the 9-1-1 texting capabilities.
While this does not replace the traditional phone call, it's another way to benefit the community in case of an emergency.
"Oh I think it would be great. That way they can just text it and not have to call and nobody would hear, you know. They would be safe. It would be safer to do that." says Jenie Swhite, a South Central Kentucky resident.
The 9-1-1 dispatch center will be able to send and receive text messages fro emergencies when a phone call is just not possible.
"It's for those instances when a voice call is not feasible. You're hiding from some sort of an active shooter or a domestic situation where you may be in the closet or something or under a bed hiding from your aggressor. You can't speak to a dispatcher at that time, but you can text what's going on and where you are to us and we can get you help." adds Freeman.
The system is expected to be fully operational by October.