Vermont leads the nation in providing state-wide coverage of Text-to-911!
As of May 2014, customers of the four nationwide wireless carriers, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, can send a text message to 911 from locations in Vermont for emergency help. Thanks to these providers, 98% of wireless users in the state now have an alternative method to use in an emergency in the event that they cannot make a phone call.
- Customers should use the texting option only when a voice call to 911 is not an option. Making a voice call is still the most efficient way to get access to emergency services.
As with any communication to 911, the texting function should only be used for emergency situations.
Emergency situations require a response from:
- Fire Department
- Emergency medical services
- Emergency situations require a response from:
It is very important to provide the location of the event and the nature of the emergency in the first message.
- The call taker will not be able to determine the cell phone location.
- The call taker will need to convey the information from the texter to local first responders as quickly as possible.
- Abbreviations and slang, (IDK, THX, 2day, BTW, for example), should never be used.
- If you accidentally send a text to 911, be sure to follow it up with another text or voice call to let the call-taker know it was an accident and that there is no emergency.
- Texts to 911 have the same 160 character limit as other text messages.
Wireless customers must have mobile phones that are capable of sending text messages.
- Usual charges will apply to texts made to 911.
- Text messaging is considered a “best efforts” service and there is no guarantee a text message will be sent, delivered or received in a timely manner, if at all.
Sending a text to 911 may take longer than a voice call because someone must enter the text, send it through the system and then the 911 call taker has to enter a text response and send it back.
- Time is critical in a life-threatening emergency, and customers should be aware of this difference.
Customers must be in range of their service provider's cell towers in Vermont.
- If customers are outside or near the edge of the state when sending a text to 911, the message may not reach the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
- If the text didn't go through, you should receive a bounce-back message that states: Please make a voice call to 911. There is no text service to 911 available at this time.
Questions about Text-to-911? Contact us by E-Mail or by telephone at (802) 828-4119.