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Vermont keeps 911 texting - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont keeps 911 texting

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WILLISTON, Vt. -

Vermont will keep its 911 texting system.

A member of the Federal Communications Commission visited the state Tuesday to check it out.

Verizon Wireless customers can send a text message to 911 for emergency help. Vermont is the only state in the country to implement it statewide.

The system was launched back in April as part of a six month trial. Since then, it's been used only twice. Once was during a domestic disturbance where the victim could not call for help. The other case was a suicide threat.

State officials say based on its success, they plan to keep the texting system and hopefully expand it to other carriers.

"We're hoping that the more of this we do, the more carriers will get on board. They'll start to do this and we will have a more holistic system in Vermont," said David Tucker of the Vermont Enhanced 911 Board.

"Texting to 911 is just developing right now, so coming to a state like Vermont that is doing a statewide trial like this is an effort to see what is working, what's not working, what's important to governance, respect to funding, and I want to take those lessons back to Washington and see how they can be applied to the rest of the country," said Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission.

The 6-month trial cost the state nothing. It's unclear how much the texting system will cost to keep.

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