PHOENIX — Residents of the Phoenix area in need of emergency services can now text 911 if they’re unable to call authorities.

Maricopa County agencies announced the service Monday after disability advocates have been pressing officials to incorporate texting into the area’s 911 system.

Officials say the service is geared for people with hearing or speech disabilities or those in situations where talking on the phone can be risky.

Maricopa Region 911 administrator Liz Graeber says calling 911 is still preferable for a quicker response.

Officials say there are limitations to the new service. Dispatchers are unable to determine the location of where a text is coming from unless the texts include an address. Dispatch centers also do not offer translation services for texts sent in languages other than English.

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