TEXT-to-911

9-1-1: CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN’T.

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.”  For most people, sending a text to 9-1-1 will not replace making a call.  Texting should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.

How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  • The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

Below are a few things to know if you need to text 911:

  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
  • As with all text messages, 911 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a TEXT-to-911 conversation
  • If text-to-911 is not available, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that TEXT-to-911 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • TEXT-to-911 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • TEXT-to-911 is for emergencies. The same rules and laws apply for texting 911 as they do for calling 911.
  • Do not text and drive!

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