Tori Fater, The Elkhart Truth

Emergency dispatchers in St. Joseph County were able to foil an armed abduction thanks to a program that lets people text 911 when they need help and cannot make a phone call.

The hostage was able to text dispatchers and give them details about the suspect Wednesday, according to the county’s Public Safety Communications Consortium. Based on the victim's information, police stopped the suspect’s vehicle in Laporte County and freed the victim from danger.

People only have to send a text to 911 to use the service, called TexTTY. This was the first substantiated "citizen in need of service” to use text-to-911 in St. Joseph County since the program was implemented in December, public safety authorities said, though dispatchers have received 273 texts since it started.