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Government / IPBS

Hoosiers can now text 911 in 108 different languages

Hoosiers in all 92 counties can now use the “text to 911” service in languages other than English.

Indiana now translates texts for emergency services in more than 100 languages.

Indiana emergency dispatchers conduct about 150,000 text sessions each year. State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell said there are times when texting 911, rather than calling, is vital.

“For those who are hearing or speaking impaired, having a medical emergency that prevents them from speaking or are in a situation where making a voice call would put them in danger,” Mitchell said.

Shane Rekeweg is the Indiana Market Manager for INdigital, the company that operates Indiana’s text to 911. He said the translation application will automatically translate texts into English for the dispatcher and then translate the dispatcher’s responses into whatever language the texter is using.

“So, that communication is fluid and complete,” Rekeweg said.

The translation services come at no extra cost to the state.

Translation for 911 phone calls in Indiana has been available since 2019. The most commonly used translated language is Spanish.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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