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Text-to-911 is a technology that enables emergency call takers to receive text messages.[1] Its use is encouraged for the hearing impaired and in situations when it is too dangerous to call.[2] As of May 2014, all four major carriers in the United States offered text-to-911.[3] However, as of October 2018, only approximately 1,600 of more than 6,000 emergency call centers were setup to receive texts.[4]


The FCC maintains a registry of areas supporting text-to-911. All carriers are required to send bounce-back messages to inform the sender that the message could not be received if text-to-911 is not supported by the local call center.[5]

Statewide Support

The National Association of the Deaf provides a map of states providing text-to-911.[10]


Call centers are usually funded by both state and federal funding.[4] Limited funding and outdated technology have slowed the adoption of text-to-911.[4] Voice-based calls are still preferred and considered the more efficient form of communication.[1] Many cities are concerned about overuse of texting, which may slow response times.[2] Texts to 911 are not prioritized so they may be slow to be delivered.[5]


In August 2009, Waterloo, Iowa was the first county to begin receiving texts to 911.[11]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tsukayama, Hayley. "What you need to know about texting 911" (in en). 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Too dangerous to talk? Some cities explore 911 texting". 2016-07-05. 
  3. "U.S.’ Text-To-911 Service Goes Live, But You Probably Can’t Use It Yet" (in en-US). 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Why is it so hard to text 911?". 2018-10-31. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Text Messaging 911 Takes Effect: What You Need to Know" (in en). 
  6. "Text to 911: How Often It’s Being Used" (in en-US). 
  7. Staff (2018-06-03). "After 4 years, Indiana embraces text-to-911 in emergencies" (in en-US). 
  8. KWQC. "Text 911 now available in Iowa" (in english). 
  9. "Text-to-911 Available Statewide in Minnesota" (in en). 
  10. "National Association of the Deaf - NAD". 
  11. Svensson, Peter (2009-08-05). "Iowa 911 center is first to accept text messages" (in en). 

External links

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