Text to 911 is intended for citizens that are deaf, hard of hearing, have a speech disability, or if a voice call to 911 might otherwise be dangerous or impossible. When a text is made to 911 be aware that the caller's location is not always available to the 911 center. Whenever possible, the caller is asked to call 911 instead of texting if it is safe to do so.
The City of Roanoke E-911 Center can accept text messages to 911 from service providers offering this service. Not all cellular phone companies currently offer this in our area. If you attempt to send a text to 911 where it is not available, FCC rules require all wireless carriers and other text messaging providers to send an automatic "bounce-back" message. This message will advise you to contact emergency services by another means, such as by making a voice call or using a telecommunications relay service.
Text to 911 currently supports English only.
There are a variety of abbreviations or short codes used by citizens when texting. However, when contacting 911 these should not be used to avoid misunderstandings.
Multimedia Text to 911 messages.
Although the Text to 911 system will accept multimedia messages (i.e. pictures or video) they are not received immediately at the E-911 Center. There can be a 15-30 minute delay or more before the multimedia file is received. So it is important to also describe any information such as description of a person or vehicle in text or by calling 911 by voice.