BRAZOS VALLEY, Texas - Text to 911 the emergency dispatch service is now available in Brazos County.

The Brazos County 911 Districts newest service is an enhancement to their existing 911 system and will provide emergency services for individuals with hearing or speech impairments.

The system will also enable an alternate method of requesting help in situations where an individual's safety could be compromised by speaking out loud, but dispatcher still urge against texting while driving.

"Number one don't text and drive. We don't want to cause a secondary emergency by trying to report something while driving down the road," said Brazos County 911 Districts Executive Director Patrick Corley.

With the majority of emergency calls coming from cell phones, the District as well as the Federal Communications Commission feel evolving the system to incorporate new and emerging technologies is important.

"We're very fortunate here in Texas and specifically here in the Brazos Valley to have very modern, up to date 911 systems. So we want to continue to push the envelope forward as that technology become available", said Corley.

As of now you can only send a text to 911 from a phone with an active data plan using Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile wireless networks.

Although the system allows for convenience in certain situations, Brazos County 911 emphasizes that voice calls are still the best and fastest way to get help. Call if you can, text if you can't.