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Text to 9-1-1 Available in San Rafael

March 22, 2019

The San Rafael Police Department in conjunction with the Fairfax Police Department and Novato Police Departments dispatch centers are excited to announce that we now have the ability to accept text-to-911 service throughout our jurisdictions. The California Highway Patrol also accepts text-to-911. The Marin County Sheriff’s Department should begin accepting text-to-911 calls in June 2019.

Wireless customers can now send a text message to 911 in an emergency. It is important to note that text-to-911 should only be used in an emergency situation when placing a call is not possible. For example, if the caller is deaf, hard-of hearing, speech impaired, or if speaking out loud would put the caller in danger.

If you need to text 911, remember these steps:

If text-to-911 is not available you will receive a bounce back message; You must call 911 to receive assistance.

Text-to-911 FAQ

What is Text-to-911?

Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to a 911 dispatcher from your mobile phone or handheld device.

Can I text 911?

Text-to-911 is not available everywhere and is not always available when roaming. You must subscribe to your wireless carrier’s text or data plan in order to make or receive text messages. If text-to-911 is not available in your area or is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message indicating that text-to-911 is not available and to call 911 for assistance.

When should I text 911?

Text-to-911 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:

  1. For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, or has a speech disability.
  2. For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911.
  3. A medical emergency that renders a person incapable of speech.

What are some of the challenges with text-to-911?

How do I text 911?

How will I know if 911 received my text?

A 911 call center should respond to the text.

If text-to-911 is not available, you should receive a message from the wireless carrier stating that text-to-911 is unavailable and that you must place a voice or relay call to 911.

Is there a charge to text 911?

Standard text messaging rates apply to text-to-911

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