South Sound 911 expects to launch text-to-911 service sometime in early 2019 and we will announce its availability. If callers send a text to 911 in an area without text-to-911 service, they should receive an automatic reply stating the service is not available.
Text-to-911 is already available in some parts of Washington. There are a few things to know about how it works:
- Texting to 911 is intended to benefit people who may not be able to speak or hear in an emergency — it is NOT a method of convenience. A voice call is still the preferred and most efficient method for contacting 911.
- When texting to 911 for an emergency, the first message should be the location of the emergency (including city) and the nature of the emergency (what is happening and whether you need police, fire or medical aid).
- Keep text messages brief and use full words — no abbreviations or emojis.
- Stay with your phone, be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
- Photos and videos cannot be received by 911 at this time.
For more information about text-to-911, including where the service is currently available in Washington, visit the state Emergency Management Division.