Text-to-911 is NOT a method of convenience. The service is intended to benefit people who may not be able to speak or hear in an emergency. A voice call is still the preferred and most efficient method for contacting 911. Simply stated, call if you can, text if you can't.
Text 911 if you need EMERGENCY police, fire, or medical aid AND you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled OR you cannot speak due to a medical emergency OR when a voice call might endanger your life or escalate the situation.
How to send a text to 911
- Open you mobile phone's text messaging program.
- Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field.
- Type a message with the location of the emergency (including city) and the nature of the emergency (what is happened and whether you need police, fire, or medical aid).
- Press the "Send" button or arrow.
Be sure to keep your phone with you and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker. If you are trying not to be overheard requesting help, remember to silence your phone!
Things to remember
- Keep text messages brief.
- Do NOT send photos or videos, or use group texts, abbreviations, or emojis.
- Text-to-911 is only available in English.
- Photos and videos cannot be received at this time.
- Bayside Communications Center does not control text delivery from mobile carriers or devices.
- There may be instances when a voice call cannot connect due to poor cellular signal or other phone service interruptions, but a text message can still go through.
- A text sent to 911 in an area without Text-to-911 service should receive an automatic reply stating the service is not available.