- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) - People in Kitsap County who need emergency help can now send a text to 911 instead of making a phone call.

Snohomish County will begin testing the same service this week, but residents still need to call 911 for help until the testing is completed.

Kitsap County officials say the service is for people who may not be able to speak because of an emergency such as a home invasion or domestic violence. It will also help people who are deaf or have a speech disability.

Kitsap County will be the first county in the state to offer the service. Officials say people should still call if they can and send a text message if they need help and can’t call.

Text-to-911 service is not available statewide.

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