Text to 9-1-1 Launches for Emergency Communications

December 1, 2017 3:01 PM

Los Angeles County, including the City of Santa Monica, will be launching “Text-to-911” service starting December 1, 2017. “Text-to-9-1-1” refers to the public’s ability to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency. If you are in an emergency where you are unable to call 9-1-1 or communicate verbally, you are now able to text message police, fire, and emergency medical dispatchers by sending the text directly to 911. Dispatchers will ask you questions about the emergency by replying to your text. This service can be very useful to those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired and those who need help when an emergency is in progress and the caller is fearful of speaking or cannot speak. The public should be encouraged to call 911 if you can and text only if you’re unable to call.

“Starting Friday, December 1st, Santa Monica’s Public Safety Dispatchers are ready to accept 911 text messages. We hope that this added feature in all LA County 9-1-1 call centers better enables the public to report emergencies, especially in situations when someone is fearful of making a call or is unable to speak,” said Lindsay Barker, Chief Resilience Officer.

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