Woodbury and Dakota counties offer text 911 option

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)-People who live in Woodbury and Dakota counties now have a new option when contacting 911. The new service is for the hearing impaired or people not able to speak in an emergency situation.

“It’s very important for the deaf people they need it badly,” said Sioux City resident Carol Hestbech.

Hestbech is partially deaf. She says the 911 text option could save her life.

“Suppose I have a heart attack you never know or a bad car accident it happens. We have to dial 911 then let it ring but we won’t be able to answer,” said Hestbech.

“It’s another tool. You know another tool in our box to be able to help receive 911 calls and to get emergency personnel out to those who are in need,” said Woodbury County Communication Director Glenn Sedivy.

Sedivy said the service can also benefit people in trouble.

“For them to be able to communicate silently. That they are in need of some help without altering anyone in the house is very beneficial,” said Robin Mcginty the Executive Director at the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

CSADV serves 12,000 people each year throughout Siouxland.

“Anything that can be done to ensure victims’ safety until they can get help is a wonderful thing,” said Mcginty.

Its a convenient solution for Hestbech and anyone who can’t make that emergency call.

“I’m happy. I’m happy. I think other deaf people will be happy to very,” said Hestbech.

Right now text 911 is only available in certain Iowa and Nebraska. It’s not an option in South Dakota yet. Glenn Sedivy points out that anyone using text 911 should be sure to include their name, location, and issue in the text message.

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