Hawaii is now one of only a few states in the nation that allows people to contact 911 through a text message.
Gov. David Ige on Thursday announced the enhanced 911 service statewide.
“While voice calls are always best, text-to-911 service provides practical mobile emergency communications for our deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired communities,” he said.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said the new program will save lives.
“The text-to-911 service is a revolution in how we alert the authorities to emergent, life-or-death situations that do not allow for a caller to speak to a dispatcher, such as with home invasions, domestic violence cases, or active shooter scenarios," she said.
Hawaii is the seventh state to launch a text program for 911 emergencies, joining New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Indiana, New Jersey and North Dakota.
Text-to-911 supports plain text and SMS messages
Currently limited to 160 characters per text
Pictures, videos and emojis cannot be processed
User must have active wireless service that includes a text or data plan
Device's location service must be turned on
May be unavailable if the phone is roaming or outside the provider's coverage area