mobile device

Text-to-911 is now available in Washington County.

If you need help, but can’t safely speak on the phone or are unable to speak, use your mobile phone to send a text message to 9-1-1.

When to use it

Calling is the best and fastest way to reach 9-1-1. But you should text if:


You’re deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability.


You’re in a situation where it’s not safe to call 9-1-1 for help.


You’re having a medical emergency and cannot speak on the phone.

How it works

Frequently Asked Questions

In an emergency, when you send a text to 9-1-1, you will receive a response asking for the pertinent information about your emergency: Your name, your address, and the nature of your emergency. You may also receive a message asking if it is safe for you to make a voice call. If it is not safe or possible to make a voice call, continue to communicate with the 9-1-1 dispatcher using text messaging.
No. Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
No. At this time, 9-1-1 can only receive text messages in English.
No. Messages sent to 9-1-1 cannot include other people. If you include 9-1-1 on a group text, it may not be received.
If Text-to-911 is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message indicating this, plus instructions on how to contact 9-1-1 by other means. If you do not receive any replies from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
Text-to-911 is for use in an emergency only. If you accidentally send a message to 9-1-1, send a reply indicating that you have made a mistake, there is no emergency and you are not in danger. Promptly answer any questions so we can determine that 9-1-1 is not actually needed. Intentional misuse of 9-1-1 is a punishable offense.
Similar to 9-1-1 calls, texts to 9-1-1 are received by one of the Washington County 911 emergency dispatchers. The 911 call center is open 24-hours a day, every day, to receive calls and texts and dispatch emergency response services.
Yes. Text-to-911 location information is not equal to current voice call location technology. In order to get help, you need to provide your exact location.
No. In order to use Text-to-911, the mobile device you are texting from requires a mobile phone number with a wireless carrier that will allow the device to send and receive text messages.