Text to 9-1-1

Text to 9-1-1

In February of 2016, The El Paso-Teller County 9-1-1 Authority announced that citizens can send SMS text messages to 9-1-1 in an emergency. 

Text to 9-1-1 may be most helpful in these emergency situations:

  • By individuals who have speech or hearing impairments, or those who are having a medical emergency that renders them incapable of speech.
  • Home invasions/robbery, or instances of domestic violence or an abduction

How to Text 9-1-1 in an emergency 

Text to 9-1-1 should be used if you have an emergency, and you are unable to make a voice call.

  • Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field.
  • Know your location - Text your exact location. (street address, mile marker, cross streets, landmarks, etc.)
  • Text the nature of your emergency
  • Push the "Send" button
  • Be clear - Send a short text message without abbreviations or slang.
  • Stay calm - Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.

Important Considerations

Text to 9-1-1 is an important tool to enhance communications with the public in an emergency, but it has limitations. It is important to keep these things in mind:

  • Voice communication is always the fastest way to contact 9-1-1. Call if you can, text if you must.
  • Location information will be limited to the cell tower that your cell phone is communicating through. Your location should be the first text you send to 9-1-1.
  • A text or data plan is required to text 9-1-1.
  • Text to 9-1-1 conversations cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. (no group messaging).
  • Do not abuse Text to 9-1-1. It is for emergency use only.