Fulton County launched a service this week that allows some residents to text 911. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM AJC FILE PHOTO

Fulton County rolls out 911 texting option in five cities

If you have an emergency in Fulton County, there are now more areas where you can text 911 to get help.

Earlier this week, the county launched a text-based 911 service for getting help in Union City, Fairburn, Palmetto, Chattahoochee Hills, the city of South Fulton and the unincorporated part of Fulton County, along Fulton Industrial Boulevard.

The service joins others in metro Atlanta, including in Roswell, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Brookhaven.

The service is geared toward people in potentially dangerous situations who may not be able to call for help, and those who are speech or hearing impaired.

“Texting is widely used to communicate so it only makes sense that we allow residents to use this technology,” said Director Joe Barasoain.

In addition to allowing people to text 911, Fulton County will automatically call back a number that dials 911 and is disconnected, including before anyone answers.

To text 911, users need a text-capable cell phone. Text messages should be brief and easily understood and should not include any abbreviations, emojis or slang.

The system cannot accept photos or videos and is only available in English, though other languages are in the works.

To text, enter “911” in the “To” field. The first text should contain the location, a brief description of the emergency and the type of help needed. The sender should be prepared to answer questions and follow any instructions received after hitting send.

“We are proud to have coordinated County-wide to bring this much-needed emergency communications tool to residents, businesses and visitors to Fulton County,” Barasoain said in a statement. “While this new texting service is available to the public, I want to remind everyone that calling 9-1-1 remains the most effective method to access emergency personnel.”

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