How the new Text-to-911 program works

IOWA - Local 5 looked into how the new program works, and if it’s worth it. 

The governor's office is pushing out the program, but leaders say you should always try to call 911 if you're in an emergency, not text.

“That's because a text may take longer to get through to a dispatcher, could get out of order or may not be received by the a dispatch center. To text 911, someone must type a message and send it over the network before the dispatcher at the call center reads the text and sends a response. It may take more time for the person initiating the text to provide essential information to the dispatcher, such as location and the nature of the emergency,” said Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg. 

Leaders also admit that Text-to-911 isn't available to all Iowans. There are several counties that don't provide their residents this program because of lack of cell service. Text-to-911 is supposed to be available to the entire state by the end of 2017.

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