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GEAUGA COUNTY -- The Geauga County Sheriff's Office is the first place in Ohio to have a text 911 program. It currently works with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, but the FCC says all carriers must provide it by the end of the year.

Here's how it works: The dispatcher receives an alert and then pulls up a chat window to talk. The dispatcher can locate the area you are in. If your text doesn't go through, you'll receive a bounce-back message letting you know.

The sheriff's office says this will really come in handy when you can't get enough signal to make a call, but can get just enough to send a text. It will also help in case of an intruder or a time when you need to be quiet.

Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland says it's important people know that calling 911 is always the preferred method. This is just for situations when calling isn't an option.

Cuyahoga County says they plan to offer this service in the next two or three years.

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