Text to 911 Emergency

When should you send a Text to 9-1-1?

  • When you have an emergency that requires assistance from Police, Fire or EMS.
  • If you have a speech or hearing impairment, you can send a text to 9-1-1 using a cell phone or other device. It is recommended that you inform 9-1-1 that you are speech or hearing impaired so that they can inform the responders.
  • If speaking may cause you harm, such as a break-in or domestic violence situation. Remember to silence your phone so that the sound of 9-1-1 replying does not give you away.
  • Peer pressure. You are with a group and some of the members are doing something dangerous or illegal.
  • If you cannot make a voice call with your cell phone because there is no service you may be able to get data service to send a text message.
If you need to use text to 9-1-1

Do Not attempt to send videos or photos with your texts.  Limit your messaging to text only.

Be as specific as possible when providing your location.   Provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • Exact address to include unit/apartment number and city
  • Business name
  • The names of both streets at the nearest intersection
  • Landmarks

Once the texting session is initiated, DO NOT EXIT THE CONVERSATION until the 9-1-1 operator has told you to do so.

As with all text messages, 9-1-1 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.

Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.

Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.

At this time translation services for text-to-9-1-1 are not available; please text in English only.

Do not text and drive!

How do I send a Text to 9-1-1?

  1. Open the message app on your phone or wireless device.
  2. In “To” type “911” (there is no need to add “-“)
  3. In the message field type the location, (address and municipality) and a brief description of the problem.
  4. Then press “SEND”.

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.

Reliable translation services for text messages are not yet available. Messages should be sent in English. If this is not possible a voice call should be made to allow use of translation services for voice calls.

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