Text to 911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 9-1-1 emergency call takers from your mobile phone or device. However, because text-to-911 is currently only available in certain locations, you should always make a voice call to contact 9-1-1 during an emergency whenever possible.
The FCC encourages emergency call centers to begin accepting texts as text providers develop text-to-9-1-1 capability, but it is up to each call center to decide the particular method in which to implement and deploy text-to-911 technology.
FCC rules require all wireless carriers and other providers of text messaging applications in the United States to deliver emergency texts to call centers that request them. If a call center requests text-to-911 service, text messaging providers must deliver the service in that area within six months.
To check to see if the 9-1-1 call center in your area supports text-to-911, download our list of areas supporting available service at www.fcc.gov/file/12285/download (updated monthly). But even in areas where call centers accept text-to-911, existing voice-based 911 service is still the most reliable and preferred method of contact.
How to Contact 9-1-1
If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:
If you attempt to send a text-to-911 where the service is not yet available, FCC rules require all wireless carriers and other text messaging providers to send an automatic "bounce-back" message that will advise you to contact emergency services by another means, such as making a voice call or using telecommunications relay service (for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability). Bounce-back messages are intended to minimize your risk of mistakenly believing that a text-to-911 has been transmitted to an emergency call center.
Which service providers are not required to support Text-To-911?
For more information: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911
To learn more about FCC programs to promote access to telecommunications services for people with disabilities, visit the FCC's Disability Rights Office website at www.fcc.gov/disability. You have multiple options for contacting the FCC:
Article submitted by www.fcc.gov