Residents and visitors who can’t place a call to 911 in an emergency can now text 911 to request police, fire, or medical assistance in Broward County.
The enhanced 911 system now includes the capability of receiving texts thanks in part to a $353 million investment in enhancing Regional 911 in Broward, approved by the County Commission.
"This technology directly benefits members of our community who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. They will now have a more efficient and effective way to request emergency services in times of need. Texts to 911 should be used by members of the public ONLY in situations where it may be unsafe to make a phone call such as in the case of an active shooter, home invasion or domestic violence situation. Text to 911 will save lives. It’s a great addition to our emergency services,” said Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen.
Remember these important tips before sending a text message:
- CALL 911 if you can; TEXT ONLY if you can’t
- Provide the exact location of the emergency
- Make the text message brief and easy to understand
- Do not send pictures, videos, emojis, abbreviations or slang
- Be ready to respond to text messages from 911 until the conversation is finished
“Text to 911 will give a voice to those who would be in danger if they were to place a phone call. This is a major accomplishment and a key component in our overall plans for a new state of the art communications system to protect our residents and visitors. This new service allows us to better meet the needs of an evolving community and makes emergency services available to more people, especially those with hearing or speech disabilities.” said Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine."
The Text to 911 system currently processes texts in English; language translation is not currently available. Broward County 911 personnel are trained to respond to emergency texts and will dispatch help as soon as they confirm the caller’s location and type of emergency. For more information on the Text to 911 system and to see a video, visit 911.Broward.org.