Umatilla County, Other Local 911 Agencies Launch Text to 911 Service

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The Umatilla County 911 Communication Center, Milton-Freewater Police Department Dispatch and John Day Emergency Communications Center are now able to accept Text-to-911 messages to report emergencies.

Text to 911 is a new service that is intended to benefit people that may not be able to make a voice call due to an emergency such as home invasion or domestic violence situation; as well as individuals that are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.

A few things you should know about how Text to 911 works:

  • Texting to 911 is intended to benefit people that may not be able to speak in an emergency. The key thing to remember is “Call if you Can, Text if you can’t.”
  • When texting to 911 for an emergency, the first message should be the location of the emergency (including city) and the type of emergency help needed (police, fire, or medical).
  • Keep text messages brief and concise; using full words.
  • Stay with your phone. Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
  • Photos, videos and emoji cannot be sent to 911 at this time. Trying to send these will corrupt the call text.
  • You cannot include 911 in a group text or while roaming.

Text to 911 service is not yet available statewide in Oregon or California. If you send a text to 911 from a wireless carrier or a city/county without Text to 911 service, you should receive a message saying that there is no text service to 911 available at this time.

For more details and updates about Text to 911 go online.

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