police car

Text to 9-1-1

​What is Text to 9-1-1?

Text to 9-1-1 refers to the ability to send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers during an emergency. Thornton Emergency 9-1-1 Communication Center is equipped with the technology to send and receive 9-1-1 text messages. This integrated technology allows for additional accuracy of the GPS location from the cellular device sending the text message.

How do I Text to 9-1-1?

Remember that texting should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1. To Text to 9-1-1, follow these steps:
• Enter the numbers “9-1-1” in the “To” field
• In the message field, state your emergency to 9-1-1, it should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed
• Push the send button
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker
• Text in simple words- do not use abbreviations
• Keep text messages brief and concise

When should Text to 9-1-1 be used?

Text to 9-1-1 is very useful to those who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech-impaired. Text to 9-1-1 is also helpful in situations when a caller is facing a threatening situation and a voice call could increase the threat; the caller is injured and cannot speak; the caller is in a remote location and can only send out a text message or when voice networks are congested. The best rule of thumb is, “Call if you can, Text if you must”.

Do all wireless providers offer this service?

Currently, the four major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless have agreed to offer the Text to 9-1-1 service. City of Thornton 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center is equipped to send and receive text messages. If a text message is sent to a 9-1-1 center other than city of Thornton and that center does not accept text messages, the sender will receive a “bounce back” message notifying the text was not received. The message will advise the sender to make a voice call to 9-1-1.

Can I Text to 9-1-1 from my free texting application?

No, only consumers who have purchased a text or data plan through their wireless provider can send text messages to 9-1-1. Text message rates apply. Over the top applications will not support Text to 9-1-1.