Text to 9-1-1 Launch

“Call if You Can. Text If You Can’t.”

Communications centers across Pima County have now integrated texting into its 9-1-1 answering system, allowing residents in need of emergency services to reach a dispatcher via text when calling is not an option.

Traditional 9-1-1 voice calls are still preferred since they are the most effective way for dispatchers to gather information and field emergency calls. Text to 9-1-1 helps those who are unable to speak due to an emergency, or for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled.

Here’s how it works: If a citizen needs help but is unable to speak, or they cannot do so safely, they can text 9-1-1 using their mobile phone. To initiate a text to 9-1-1, all you have to do is enter 911 in the “To” field and enter the location and nature of the emergency in the text field.

It is important to know the limitations to the system, such as:

  • KNOW AND PROVIDE YOUR LOCATION! The most important piece of information is to provide your location, followed by what is happening.
  • You can’t text 9-1-1 with a 9-1-1 only phone.
  • A text from an internet messaging program will not work for 9-1-1.
  • The preferred language for text is English due to limited translation services.

On behalf of the PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Point) throughout Pima County, we are proud to be able to provide this service to our community. 

Look on the Federal Communications Commission's website for additional information on texting to 911.