I am pleased to announce the launch of 9-1-1 texting services throughout Santa Clara County. This new option will help those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and anyone who feels unsafe speaking over the phone. The County operates a consolidated (law, fire and medical) emergency communications center that is staffed by 130 employees, including 80 dispatchers who answer approximately 45,562 calls per month, 62 calls per hour, 1,497 calls in a 24-hour period (491 of them considered urgent or emergency calls), and 546,750 calls per year. Dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency is still the preferred way to request help, and the public is reminded to “Call if you can. Text if you can’t.” Texting is not always ideal because it takes longer than a voice call and does not provide the location of the texter. The service is currently available in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County and all local jurisdictions, except for Campbell and Los Gatos, which are scheduled to offer the service by the end of the year.