Vermont was a pioneer in providing state-wide coverage of Text-to-911.
Vermont was the first in the nation to implement state-wide Text-to-911. Beginning in May 2014, customers of nationwide wireless carriers could send a text message to 911 (Text-to-911) from locations in Vermont for emergency help. Today all wireless carriers serving subscribers in Vermont provide Text-to-911, which allows subscribers to have an alternative method to use in an emergency if they cannot make a phone call.
- Customers should use Text-to-911 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
- It is very important to provide the location of the event and the nature of the emergency in the first message.
- The call taker may 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 be avoided whenever possible.
- If you accidentally send a text to 911, be sure to follow it up with another text 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 subscriber-to-subscriber text messages.
- Wireless customers must have cell phones that are capable of sending text messages.
- Text messaging is considered a “best effort” 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 must enter a text response and send it back.
- Time is critical in a every 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 a Vermont Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
- If the text didn't go through to 911, 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.
For questions about Text-to-911 contact us by E-Mail or by telephone at (802) 828-4911.