PRESS RELEASE: Connecticut Launches Text-to-911 Capability
Issued By: Lt. Jeremiah P. Marron Jr.
The State of Connecticut has launched a new Text-to-911 capability as part of the state’s new Next Generation 9-1-1 Emergency Telecommunications System. Text-to-911 provides residents with the ability to send a text message to 9-1-1 from a handheld device in emergency situations when it is either unsafe or they are unable to place a voice call. The system, which is available statewide, is now in effect.
Residents should be cautioned that voice calls to 9-1-1 remain the best and fastest way to contact emergency services whenever it is feasible to do so. Text-to-911 is only intended to be used when absolutely necessary or needed.
Text-to-911 is specifically intended for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. It is also intended to be used when people are in certain situations that would be unsafe or impractical to place an audible voice call, such as during a home invasion, an act of domestic violence, or active mass shooting, and also during medical emergencies that render a person incapable of speech.
The Text-to-911 feature was added to enhance the public’s safety and wellbeing and it could save lives, especially for those with hearing and speech impairments and anyone in a situation where silence is essential to their safety when summoning help.
To use Text-to-911, enter the numbers “911” in the “to” or “recipient” field on a mobile phone or other handheld device. Text a brief message that includes the location of the emergency and what services are needed (police, fire, ambulance). After that, answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call center.
Connecticut’s 9-1-1 Emergency Telecommunications System is maintained and operated by DESPP’s Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications. To make residents aware of the new capability and educate on the proper uses, DESPP has launched a public education campaign that will include television and radio spots, online and cinema advertising, social media alerts, and outreach to targeted populations.