- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2016

CATHLAMET, Wash. (AP) - Wahkiakum County is the latest in Washington state to allow people who need help to contact emergency services by text message.

Wahkiakum County sheriff’s office this week launched its Text-to-911 service allowing people to text 9-1-1 in an emergency. The service is currently only available to AT&T;, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile customers.

Officials say it’s still best to call 911 if possible but that texting can benefit people who may not be able to talk during an emergency situation or those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The state’s emergency management division says the technology is not yet available throughout the state but that 911 centers are working to upgrade their systems to accept Text-to-911.

Nine other counties offer the service, including Clark, Thurston, Clallam, Jefferson, Pacific, Snohomish, Kitsap, Grant and Spokane.

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