Rochester, N.Y. – Verizon wireless customers now have a new way to receive emergency services. Rochester and Monroe County say they can now text 911 for help if they're unable to make a voice call.
Monroe County is the second community in New York to get this service. Verizon wireless customers can only text 911 if they are in Monroe County. According to a recent law, all other wireless providers will have this capability by the end of next year.
It's a major help for those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf and can’t call 911 in the usual way. Mayor Tom Richards and County Executive Maggie Brooks say the new service could save a life in a home invasion scenario or a medical emergency. The Rochester area has the highest number of college aged deaf and hard of hearing people per capita in the nation.
In order for the service to be effective those texting should have their GPS locator active on their cell phone and observe the 160 character limit for the text message they send to 911.