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Rhode Island unveils text-to-911 system

February 5, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has launched a text-to-911 service that will enable people to send a text message to the state’s E-911 communications center if they are unable to make a voice call.

The program was announced Tuesday by Col. Kevin Barry, acting superintendent of the state police, and Gregory Scungio, acting director of the state E-911 Uniform Emergency Telephone System.

Barry says the service is critical for people in situations where they cannot talk safely on the phone or cannot physically call 911. He says it’s also a valuable tool for the hearing impaired.

They stressed that calling 911 is still the preferred method of contact in emergencies.

Scungio said his agency has been working for more than five years to purchase and install the equipment and software for the service.

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