Minnesotans Can Now Text to 911

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A statewide service allowing Minnesotans to send a text message to 911 during an emergency is now up and running.

State officials say “Text-to-911” will be especially beneficial for people who are deaf or unable to speak. And it will allow victims who may not be able to talk while a crime is being committed a way to contact authorities.

To use the service, a person would type 911 in the number field and then type the nature of the emergency and a location in the body of the text message. Dispatchers at all of the state’s 104 emergency dispatch centers have been trained on the texting technology.

If there is an emergency and you cannot call 911, take these steps:

  • Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field.
  • Text your exact address & type of emergency.
  • Send the message.
  • Use simple words. Do not include abbreviations, emoji’s, pictures or slang.
  • Promptly answer questions & follow instructions.

While texting is now available, dispatchers do prefer calls so they can get cues from background noise and voice inflections. If you text 911, dispatchers will ask if they can call you.

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(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Photo credit: BFC Media.

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