On July 20, 2015, the Montgomery County Commissioners announced that wireless phone customers in Montgomery County had the ability to send short text messages to 9-1-1 in an emergency. At this time, Text-to-911 is only available to subscribers of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.
Text-to-911 may be most helpful in these emergency situations:
- By individuals who have speech or hearing impairments, or who are having a medical emergency that renders them incapable of speech;
- Or in instances when making noise may endanger the caller, such as a home invasion/robbery, or instances of domestic violence or an abduction.
HOW TO TEXT 9-1-1 IN AN EMERGENCY
Only use Text-to-911 in an emergency and if you are unable to make a voice call.
- Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field.
- Know your location - Text your exact location, address, and municipality.
- Text what you need – Text what emergency help is needed.
- Push the "Send" button.
- Be clear - Send a short text message without abbreviations or slang.
- Stay calm - Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
Text-to-911 is an important tool to enhance communications with the public in an emergency, but it has many limitations. It's important to keep these things in mind:
- As with all text messages, text messages to 9-1-1 may take longer to receive, may get out of order, or may not be received at all.
- Voice calls are real-time communication and text-to-9-1-1 is not.
- 9-1-1 call takers will not be able to hear any background noise that could help with assisting during the emergency.
- A Text-to-911 message that hits a cellular tower outside of Montgomery County will connect to the emergency communications center where the tower is located. They may not be able to transfer the communications directly to Montgomery County.
- Location information will be limited to the cell tower that your cell phone is communicating through. We won't automatically know where you are.
- A text or data plan is required to place a Text-to-911.
- Text-to-911 conversations cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
- Don’t abuse Text-to-911. It is only for emergencies. It's also a crime to text or call 9-1-1 with a false report.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about Text-to-911.