NASSAU COUNTY, N.Y. (PIX11) – A new way to reach emergency first responders has been launched in Nassau County on Long Island.

The Nassau County Police Department unveiled its Text-to-911 program. While dialing 911 should be the primary method for getting help, there are circumstances when texting for an emergency could be better, officials said.

Those circumstances include having a hearing or speech disability, being unable to speak due to an injury or medical condition, if you’re in a threatening situation and a phone call could increase the threat, and if your cell reception is poor, police said.

Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.