Text to 9-1-1

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Arapahoe introduced Text-to-9-1-1 service in all communities within the county. Text-to-9-1-1 is supported by all seven PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points).

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. All dispatch centers in Arapahoe County are currently equipped to receive and handle text-to-9-1-1 calls.

When should Text to 9-1-1 be used?

Call if you can, text if you must. You should only text 9-1-1 if it is the only option and making a voice call to 9-1-1 is not possible. This service will be very useful to those who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech-impaired. Some other examples would be:

  • The caller is facing a threatening situation, and a voice call could increase the threat.
  • The caller is injured or suffered a medical condition and cannot speak.
  • The caller is in a remote location and can only send out a text message.
  • Phone lines and cell phone towers are overwhelmed, and only a text can get through..
How Do I Text 9-1-1?
  • Enter the numbers "911" in the "To" field (do not enter with dashes like "9-1-1")
  • The first text message to 911 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 instruction from the 9-1-1 call taker
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations
  • Once you have initiated a text-to-9-1-1 conversation, do not delete the message or turn off your phone until the dispatcher tells you it is ok.
Do all wireless providers offer this service?

Yes. The FCC now requires that all carries and over-the-top applications support text to 9-1-1 within six (6) months of initial operation within Araphaoe County.

Can I Text 9-1-1 outside of Arapahoe County?

If you send a text message to 9-1-1 outside of Arapahoe County and that area does not currently receive text messages, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and you should make a voice call to 9-1-1.

Can I Text 9-1-1 from my free texting application?

Yes. Over-the-top texting applications is expected to meet the same requirements as wireless carriers.

Can I send a video or pictures to 9-1-1?

I have a video or picture of a crime in progress. No, photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.

Will the 9-1-1 Center know my location when I send a text?

If I am unable to text 9-1-1, will the 9-1-1 call center automatically know my location? When you make a voice call to 9-1-1, the call taker will typically receive your phone number and your approximate location automatically. This is called “Enhanced 9-1-1” or “E9-1-1.” However, when you text 9-1-1 from a wireless phone, the call taker will not receive this automated information. For this reason, if you send a text message to 9-1-1, it is important to give the 9-1-1 call taker an accurate address or location as quickly as possible.

Where is text to 9-1-1 service available?

You can download a PDF list of agencies that currently support text to 9-1-1 from the Federal Communication Commission.