'Text 911' emergency service now available in Maricopa County

If you ever find yourself in danger, help is on the way by using what we do daily: texting!

"You'll be able to send a text directly to 911 for an emergency and they would be able to respond," Liz Graeber said.

"Call if you can, text if you can't" means all users have to do is enter the numbers 911 into the sender field, then text your location and the emergency, followed by pressing the "send" button.

The free text-for-help service is available starting today. It's a collaborative effort of the Maricopa Association of Governments, Maricopa Region 911, and other public agencies who work with members of the disability and deaf community.

Although text-savvy users may prefer to send a text rather than call, Maricopa Region 911 says texting emergency services should be used only when necessary.

"We still want you to call 911," Graeber said. "That's important, so we want you to call if you can, but text if you can't."