Text to 911 - Call If You Can, Text When You Can't
Text to 911
Text messaging is one of the primary ways people communicate today, especially young people and members of the hearing and speech impaired community. There are approximately 54 million people with disabilities in the United States, and 34 million of those are hard of hearing, deaf or speech impaired. Text to 911 could also help in situations where a crime is in process, or when a caller is facing domestic abuse, or the caller is injured and cannot speak. There are many scenarios.
Here Is What You Need to Know About Texting 911:
- Must have a text capable wireless phone and a wireless service plan (required). Cannot send a Text to 911 message without a service contract.
- Messaging applications do not work with 911.
- Text emergencies only! Non-emergencies must call 800-479-0050. .
- Do not send photos and videos – 911 is not capable of receiving these items.
- Do not abbreviate words, do not use slang. .
- Do not us smileys, emojis or emoticons!
- Do not Group Text when texting 911.
- The message length is limited – be short and to the point (example: 55 yom, having chest pains, need an ambulance at 222 Cannonball Run Road – or – 45 yof, fallen, broken ankle, 420 Holmes Street)
- Texting can be delayed a few seconds (about 5 to 10 seconds), takes a little more time for reply exchanges.
- Do not text to more than one person during your emergency and do not text to more than one 911 center while you are texting your emergency.
- Text to 911 is not set up in most areas throughout the country and not available if you are roaming.
- If you text in an area that is not set up for Text to 911, you will receive an automatic reply message "Text to 911 service is unavailable". It will also instruct you to call 911 directly.
- A voice call to 911 is far better than texting, because if additional information is needed, you are able to provide freely vs. typing it out takes longer, and if you are rendered unconscious, we can "ping" your cell phone and send help immediately. If calling from a landline phone E911 automatically provides your location. So you see, voice communication is best – whenever possible. Text is not 100%.
The best & most efficient way to establish a quicker emergency response is to call 911
How to Text 911
- Enter "911" in the "to" field
- Type your issue, the address where emergency is occurring and the township or borough.
- Press SEND.
- Remain on the line, be prepared for dispatcher to reply with questions and follow instructions. There may be a slight delay in response. Do not hang up until you are instructed to do so! Allow for responses to come thru.
- Always keep it brief, concise, and watch your spelling. Do not use abbreviations, no acronyms, no emoticons, and no emoji's. Do not send pictures or videos!