Citizens of Yakima County, as well as visitors, can now send a text message to alert 911 emergency service.

Yakima County has become one of just eight counties in Washington to offer this.

SunComm, the Public Safety Communications Division of Yakima, has stated that calling 9-1-1 is still the preferred method of contacting emergency service, however, is offering this new technology for times when calling may jeopardize one's safety or escalate a bad situation. It is also intended benefit those hard of hearing or whom may not have a strong enough signal to complete a phone call.

When texting, one will first receive a reply message that states "This is 911. If it is safe to make a voice call, please call 911."

Photos and/or other types of media will not be supported.

For more info, contact Brad Coughenour at (509) 576-6340 or Stacey Garcia at (509) 575-6058 or suncomm@yakimawa.gov