In some situations it may be easier or safer to text 9-1-1 rather than call. Now in North Dakota, you can do just that.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that dispatchers in North Dakota can text back anyone who texts for help.

Nationwide, people have been calling for this service for years and finally areas are working to implement it.

Officials say that it is still recommended that people call instead of text when possible because it allows dispatchers to obtain more information at a quicker pace.

The new service comes in handy for those who are hearing impaired or are in situations where they need to contact law enforcement discreetly.

It is important to note that this is not available nationwide and people near borders could have issues. As long as your phone pings a cell phone tower in North Dakota, texting 9-1-1 will work.

However if you phone is using signal from a tower in a neighboring state (or in Canada for those in the northern part of the state), texting 9-1-1 may not work. This is another reason why calling 9-1-1 would be more reliable.

The system has taken six years to set up. It officially went live today though it has been live all week long while officials tested the system.

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