TEXTto911 – Call if you can, Text if you must
When should I Text to 911?
- If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability.
- When you are unable to speak as a result of an injury or medical emergency.
- When you are facing a threatening situation and a voice call could increase the threat or compromise your safety.
- When you are in a remote location or area with limited coverage and a text message is the only option to request emergency services.
- When you are in an area where the phone lines and cell towers are overwhelmed and only a text can get through to request emergency services.
How do I use Text to 911 and what information do I provide?
- Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field - do not include dashes (example: 9-1-1).
- Include the location of the emergency in the text and a brief summary of the situation. The most important information a caller can relay via phone or text is the LOCATION where help is needed (example: I’m at 1234 S Main St, intruder in my house).
- The Denver 911 call taker will reply to the text message with a series of questions. Answer the questions and follow the instructions provided to the best of your ability.
- Be as attentive as possible to the text message conversation with Denver 911 using short and timely texts.
- Do not use abbreviations or slang, as the meaning could be misconstrued and create a delay in the arrival of emergency services.
- Stay engaged in the text conversation as much as possible and do not delete the message or turn off your phone until the Denver 911 call taker concludes the conversation.
What else do I need to know about Text to 911?
- The Denver 911 call center can only receive and reply to Text to 911 texts and cannot initiate a text message conversation without the caller texting 911 first.
- If you attempt to send a text to 911 in an area outside of Denver where the service is not yet available, an automatic “bounce-back” message will be sent to your phone advising you to contact emergency services by an alternative means, such as a voice call or a telecommunications relay service (the latter is used by consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech disability).
- If you accidentally send a Text to 911 please let the Denver 911 call taker know that emergency services are not needed.
- Only consumers who have purchased a text or data plan through their wireless provider can send text messages to 911. Text message rates apply.
- Text to 911 does not work with applications that do not support texting to and from U.S. phone numbers.
- Photos and videos cannot be sent to Denver 911 at this time.