Text to 9-1-1

What is text-to-9-1-1?

Text-to-9-1-1 refers to the ability to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency.  

What are the benefits of text-to-9-1-1?

There are many significant benefits to consumers, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally.  Text-to-9-1-1 can be useful to the approximately 34 million Americans who are hard of hearing, deaf or speech-impaired. Text-to-9-1-1 can also help in situations when a crime is in process; the caller is facing domestic abuse; the caller is injured and cannot speak; or other scenarios.

Can I send a text to 9-1-1? 

Texting to 9-1-1 is currently available in Osage Beach. Check with your local 9-1-1 center or the FCC website for availability in other areas.

NOTE:  Until text-to-9-1-1 service is implemented in a given area, texters in those areas will receive an automatic “bounce-back” message indicating that text-to-9-1-1 is not yet available and advising to use another method to contact emergency authorities.

How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency: 

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  • The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed; 
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

Below are a few things to know if you need to text 9-1-1: 

  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1
  • If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Do not text and drive!