This new service is available to the public, and is especially beneficial to callers that cannot communicate verbally such as people who are deaf and/or hearing-impaired, callers facing domestic abuse, or callers who are injured and cannot speak.
Text to 9-1-1 requires a cell phone that has the capability to send text messages, and location services must be enabled. Text messages should be brief, easily understood, and should not contain abbreviations, emojis, or slang. While currently, the texting service is only available in English, other language solutions are in development and will be implemented as soon as they become available. Similarly, the system cannot receive photos and videos at this time.
Below are guidelines for how to text to 9-1-1:
- Enter the numbers “911” in the text “To” field.
- The first text message to 9-1-1 should contain the location and brief description of the emergency and the type of help needed.
- Push the “Send” button.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 text taker.
- Text in simple words. Do not use abbreviations, emojis, or slang.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
- Do not text and drive.