Text to 911
In an emergency, the best and fastest way to get help is calling 911. But today, for those who can’t make a phone call, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is rolling out “Text to 911.” Sheriff Mike Chitwood explains ‘Text to 911’ service in a video available on VCSO’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts. Below is a fact sheet that answers some common questions about the service. For anyone interested in visiting the Communications Center for a story in the coming days and weeks, just let us know and we’ll help coordinate with you.
911: Call if You Can - Text if You Can’t
Text to 911 in Volusia County
Citizens and visitors in Volusia County can now send a text message to 911 during an emergency or life-threatening situation. When seconds matter, a voice call to 911 is the best and fastest way for the 911 call taker to retrieve and deliver life-saving information. A text message may take longer. If you are in an area that will not accept the text message, or if it is temporarily unavailable, a bounce back message will be sent stating “make a voice call to 911 for help; text to 911 is not available”.
- What Is Text to 911 and Why Would I Want to Use It?
Text to 911 is the ability to send a text message (SMS) from your messaging-enabled mobile phone to your local 911 service. Texting during an emergency could be helpful if you are deaf, hearing impaired, have a speech disability, or if a voice call to 911 might otherwise be dangerous or impossible.
- If Text to 911 is available in my area, what type of wireless phone or service do I need to send an emergency Text?
Check with your wireless phone company. In general, you must have a text-capable wireless phone and a wireless service subscription or contract with a wireless phone company. You will need a “wireless data plan.” Remember, you can make a voice call to 911 using a wireless phone that does not have a service plan, but you cannot send a text message to 911 without a service contract that includes texting.
- Is Text to 911 available everywhere in the United States?
TEXT to 911 is not available in all areas. You can check the FCC Text to 911 Master PSAP Registry to learn where TEXT to 911 is currently available.