Ability to text 911 for an emergency expected in 3 to 6 months

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Rachel King has been dealing with a hearing disability her entire life. She will soon be getting special implants to improve her hearing, but in the mean-time texting is one of her preferred methods of communicating, something that is currently not an option in times of emergency.

"I want to be able to feel comfortable understanding what they're saying. I don't want to have to have them repeat it because I'm in a very panic mode and I'm ready to get the police on the way, you know - make sure I'm not in a close ending situation," added King.

Mike Chustz of Baton Rouge EMS says folks like King will soon be able to benefit from 911 texting in the area. Chustz says those with hearing challenges or medical issues will no longer need to rely on relay services with the message going directly to dispatch.

"It's going to give them another avenue, people another avenue who may be hesitant in the event of an emergency, it will give them another avenue and another way to do it," added Chustz.

Chustz says the texting will work much like current emergency calls with the sender providing the type of emergency and location. The message will be received and responders dispatched just as they are now.

"We're going to have some training we're going to have to do on our end and I don't see any problem with us getting that done in time and being ready to go when the system's up and running," said Chustz.

Chustz adds the equipment needed for the texting system has already been ordered and believes it will operational sometime in the next three to six months. King, however, says it can't come soon enough.

"If that comes out, I'll feel like I'll be safe. I feel like anybody will be safe," said King.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.