TEXT to 9-1-1

Text-to-9-1-1 Tips

How do I text to 9-1-1?

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” or “Recipient” field;
  • The first text to 9-1-1 should be short, include the location of the emergency, and ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – no abbreviations or slang.
  • Keep text messages short.

How will I know if 9-1-1 received my text?

  • A 9-1-1 call center should respond to the text.
  • If Text-to-9-1-1 is not available, you should receive a message from the wireless carrier stating that Text-to-9-1-1 is not available and that you must place a voice or relay call to 9-1-1.

Is there a charge to text-to-9-1-1?

  • Standard text messaging rates apply.

Can I text to 9-1-1 in languages other than English?

  • The preferred language for texting to 9-1-1 is English.
  • Translation services are limited.
  • At this time translation services for Text-to-9-1-1 are not available; please text in English only.

call if you can Text if you cant

Text-to-9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions

Voice calls are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1

Text-to-9-1-1 is ONLY recommended when a voice call is NOT possible

About the Service

What is “Text-to-9-1-1” technology?

  • Text-to-9-1-1 is the ability to send a text message to 9-1-1 from your mobile phone or handheld device.

Can I Text-to-9-1-1?

  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not available everywhere and is not always available when roaming.
  • You must subscribe to your wireless carrier’s text or data plan in order to make or receive text messages.
  • If Text-to-9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message indicating that Text-to-9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.

When should I text 9-1-1?

  • Text-to-9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:
  1. For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, or has a speech disability.
  2. For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  3. A medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.
  • ONLY text 9-1-1 in an emergency. Prank-texters can be identified and possibly prosecuted according to local laws/regulations.

What are the challenges with text-to-9-1-1 service?

  • As with all text messages, Texts-to-9-1-1 may take longer to receive and respond to than a voice call, does not provide the location of the texter and could be received out of order, or may not be received at all.
  • Text GPS location information is not equal to current wireless location technology.
  • Voice calls are real-time communication and Text-to-9-1-1 is not.
  • Pictures or videos cannot be received by 9-1-1 at this time.
  • If you include anyone else on your Text-to-9-1-1 it may not be received by 9-1-1.
  • At this time translation services for Text-to-9-1-1 are not available; please text in English only.