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A look inside: Text-to-911 system

HARTFORD --  Imagine that you are so scared and in so much danger that you can't call 911 because you are afraid of being heard.

Unfortunately, there have been far too many of those situations that have had fatal consequences. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced last week that the state has launched the text-to-911 service as part of a new emergency communications system.

Police departments around the country are using the technology that allows people to text 911 directly. But, in most cases, they still would rather hear your voice.

“We don’t encourage people to use Text-to-911 unless it’s absolutely necessary, why not? We want them to be able to speak to the dispatchers, we want them to hear their voice inflection," said Susan Webster, Director of Hartford Public Safety Dispatch Center."

Webster added, "If they’re texting to 911 we want it to be hearing impaired, and active shooter situation or domestic violence situations. So there are specific situations where we want you to go ahead and use it. But a normal every day situation call 911. It’s going to be much easier for you, and it’s going to be much easier to take in the call."

Webster said it takes a lot more time to get involved with a text message and it takes longer for the dispatcher to actually respond with a text message.

She added that they don’t have a clear understanding of what’s happening during that call and they can’t do CPR instructions via text message.

"It just doesn't work like that," said Webster.

Dispatchers are highly trained conversationalist in emergency situations. It’s important that people understand that text messaging is only for very limited situations.