The Massachusetts State 9-1-1 Department is pleased to announce that Text to 911is now available throughout the Commonwealth. All Massachusetts 9-1-1 call centers now have ability to receive a text message through their 9-1-1 system. The Baker-Polito administration has supported making these system enhancements since 2015.
Text to 9-1-1 allows those in need of emergency services to use their cellular device to contact 9-1-1 when they are unable to place a voice call.
“This is a significant improvement to our 9-1-1 system that will save lives,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Tom Turco. “By giving those requiring emergency services this option we are greatly expanding the ability of first responders to provide critical assistance to those in need.”
To contact emergency services by text message, simply enter 9-1-1 in the “To” field of your mobile device and then type your message into the message field. It is the same process that is used for sending a regular text message from your mobile device. It is important to make every effort to begin the text message indicating the town you are in and provide the best location information that you can.
“Having the ability to contact a 9-1-1 call center by text could help those being held against their will or victims of domestic violence unable to make a voice call,” said Frank Pozniak, Executive director of the State 9-1-1 Department. “Text to 9-1-1 also provides direct access to 9-1-1 emergency services for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired, which is a service that these communities did not have access to until now.”
It is important to note that the 9-1-1 call center may not always have your exact location when they receive your text. For this reason, when sending a Text to 9-1-1 it is important to make every effort to begin the text message indicating the town you are in and provide the best location information that you can.
The State 9-1-1 Department encourages citizens to Text to 9-1-1 only when a voice call is not possible. Remember: “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”