Sending text messages to 9-1-1 is something few PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) are ready to receive. The ability is in the works, however, and the FCC is working with carriers and 9-1-1 centers to roll out the service beginning this year. If you attempt to send a text message to a 9-1-1 center that is not capable of receiving it, after June 30, 2013 you will get a “bounce back” message telling you to use other means to reach 9-1-1. Prior to June 30, you will receive no notice that your message did not go through. Equipment upgrades and policy decisions must still be implemented in most PSAPs before they will be able to respond to text based 9-1-1 calls. If you intend to use text messages as a way to contact 9-1-1, you should check with your local PSAP to find out when they will be able to receive and act on your message. Until then, use voice, TTY, or relay services to reach 9-1-1.
Texting to 9-1-1 is just around the corner
January 23, 2013