In an emergency, dialing 911 is a call for help. But for people with hearing loss or those who must remain quiet in a dangerous situation, calling 911 may not be an option.
Thanks to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks (DPS-ECN), a person can now text messages to 911.
DPS-ECN worked with stakeholders around Minnesota to develop Text-to-911 on Minnesota’s Next Generation 911 (NG911) network. Minnesotans can use the service throughout the state.
If it is an emergency and you cannot call 911, take these steps:
Text-to-911 has some challenges. The emergency response time may be lengthened due to the time it takes to type and send a text. Delivery of texts and speed of delivery are also not guaranteed.
DPS-ECN offers these cautions:
The service should only be used in emergencies. Texting 911 with a false report is a crime. If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text or call 911 to let the dispatcher know that there is no emergency.