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Text-to-911 now available in Denton County

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text-911Denton County residents have a new tool at their disposal in an emergency situation if they are unable to speak or hear.

The Denco Area 9-1-1 District now accommodates text-to-911, allowing residents and visitors to interact with public safety agencies via text message.

Making a voice call to 9-1-1 is always the best way to get help in an emergency. However, if a situation arises where speaking could be dangerous or if a person has trouble hearing or speaking, sending a text to 9-1-1 may be the best option.

When texting to 9-1-1, just enter “911” in the number field; do not include any spaces or dashes. In the message field, it’s best to type in the exact location of the emergency, including the address, if possible. Be as detailed as possible if you do not know the address, using intersections and landmarks. In addition, type a brief description of the problem and press send.

A text message is routed to a 9-1-1 call center based on location, just like a 9-1-1 call. Agencies can transfer text messages to other agencies, to ensure prompt emergency response.

Here are some important tips on texts to 9-1-1:

  • Pictures and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1, so only use text.
  • Keep your messages brief and to the point.
  • Avoid using slang or abbreviations.
  • The 9-1-1 personnel will ask questions and give instructions; do not leave the conversation until instructed to by 9-1-1 personnel.
  • When traveling outside of the Denco Area 9-1-1 district jurisdiction, text to 9-1-1 is not available universally. In the event you attempt to text 9-1-1 from an area where it is not available, you will receive an automated message from the wireless phone provider indicating that a voice call must be placed to 9-1-1.

Remember, in an emergency your voice still works better to ensure the fastest and most appropriate and reliable response. However, when a situation occurs where voice-to-voice is not an option. Call when you can, and text if a voice call is not possible or practical.

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