Texting 911 During an Emergency


As of March 27, 2019, cellular phones in Pierce County are able to send text messages to 911 requesting help. This service can be used by all cellular phones to help those who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, and anyone who might be unsafe if they were to be heard by an intruder or abusive partner.

If you need to text 911 in an emergency:

  • Open the text messaging program on your cell phone
  • Create a new message
  • Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field
  • Send the location of the emergency, including the city, and the type of emergency help needed (police, fire, medical) in the first message
  • Keep the messages brief and concise
  • Type complete words, without abbreviating
  • Stay with your phone and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from 911 professionals
Call if you can, Text if you can't

When texting 911, please be aware of the limitations of this service:

  • The system can only receive text, no pictures, videos, or emojis
  • Texts to 911 are treated like all other texts, there is no priority
  • Texting can be slower than making a voice call
  • The system can only respond to messages in English

Please help keep 911 available for those who need it. Do not send test messages. Text-to-911 is not for anonymous tips.

For more information about texting 911 in Pierce County, please see the South Sound 911 page.