The 911 emergency system is a great tool to have to reach first responders, but what if the person who needs emergency services can't speak or is hard of hearing?

That problem is no more, thanks to system upgrades that will now allow the system to receive text messages.

The organizations that operate the systems in the area, the Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission along with Calhoun County officials can now receive 911 text messages. Officials say the four major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are all capable of sending the text messages to 911. They also say to make a voice call first in an emergency if at all possible. Texting should only be used when someone is hard of hearing or cannot speak.

The Victoria Regional Planning Commission covers Victoria, Dewitt, Goliad, Gonzales, jackson, and Lavaca Counties.