Text to 9-1-1

text to 911Text-to-9-1-1 is an option that may be helpful for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or anyone who might be unsafe if they were to be heard by an intruder or abusive partner. 

 While texting to 9-1-1 is a vital tool that increases accessibility to emergency services, the preferred method for those who can speak is to call. 

 If you do need to text 9-1-1 in an emergency: 

  • Open the text messaging program on your cell phone
  • Create a new message
  • Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field
  • Send the address/location of the emergency – and the type of emergency help needed – police, fire, or medical – in the first message
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.
  • Type complete words, no abbreviation
  • Stay with your phone and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from      9-1-1 call takers

There are limitations to text-to-9-1-1 including:

  • The system can only receive text, no pictures, videos, or emojis.
  • Texts to 9-1-1 are treated like all other texts, there is no priority.
  • Texting can be slower than making a voice call.
  • The system can only respond to texts in English.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not for anonymous tips.