Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from your mobile phone.
Always contact 911 by making a voice call, if you can. Text will be:
- An additional service for citizens that are hard of hearing, deaf or speech impaired.
- Helpful in situations when a voice call would endanger the caller such as domestic situations or a home invasion.
- Also helpful in situations in which the caller is unable to speak due to a medical condition.
Voice calls are still preferred and more effective for most people. Reasons voice calls are preferred:
- Voice calls, especially from landlines (home phones), provide more accurate location information.
- Voice tells more about the situation and environment of the caller.
- More quickly ask multiple questions.
- Answers can be clarified if there is confusion.
As with making a 911 voice call, citizens should only text 911 for emergency situations that require a response from police, fire or emergency medical services.
Who Can Text 911?
Currently, not all cell phone providers offer text-to-911 – Check with your mobile service provider to find out if you are eligible.
The following cell phone providers have confirmed with Metro 911 that their text-to-911 service is working in Kanawha County:
- Verizon Wireless
This service is for Kanawha County citizens and visitors in Kanawha County only. If your phone is capable of sending and receiving texts, but you do not have a text plan you may be able to text 911 but you may also be charged by your carrier for those texts.
How to Text 911 in an Emergency
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field of a text message.
- The first text message to 9-1-1 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 instructions from the 911 call taker.
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
Do not text 911 to “test” your phone.