Call when you can, text when you can’t.
Calling 911 is still the most efficient way to for emergency dispatchers to retrieve and deliver life-saving information. A voice on the other line can help the caller remain calm and give life saving-instructions.
911 is reserved for those in true emergencies. Calling or texting 911 when it is not an emergency is a crime and can distract resources needed in another emergency.
Some situations when Text-to-911 is appropriate:
- Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with a speech disability
- A caller who is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition
- Emergency situations that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call
- Examples include abduction, domestic violence or active shooter situation
When texting to 911, follow these guidelines:
- Provide your exact address or location
- Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested
- Be prepared to answer any questions that the 911 telecommunicator texts back
- Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos
- Messages should be brief and concise