Traditional voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the fastest, most reliable way to reach emergency help and should always be your first option. Even with the latest technology, text messages sometimes fail to go through, which may delay emergency assistance.

However, sending a text to 9-1-1 instead of calling can be a lifesaving alternative for people in the hearing impaired community or for individuals in situations where they cannot speak freely. This may include situations such as a home invasion or an active shooter incident.

To send a text to 9-1-1:

  • The individual must have a mobile device capable of sending and receiving text (SMS) messages.
  • Enter "911" in the "To" field of the texting device.
  • In the "message field," enter the location of the emergency followed by a brief description of the event.
  • Hit "Send."

The sender will receive a text message response from a public safety telecommunicator who will obtain additional information as needed.