Belle Glade Sun

Enhanced Palm Beach County system features text to 9-1-1


On June 25, Palm Beach County was proud to announce that hearing and/or speech impaired members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 911, now have another option to request help in an emergency — Text to 9-1-1.

The benefits to the public are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples of Text to 9-1-1 scenarios include an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability; someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911; or a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.

Text to 9-1-1 guidelines:

• “Call if you can — text if you can’t.”

• Do not include anyone other than “911” in the text message. If you include anyone else on your text, it may not be received.

• Always provide your location. Text to 9-1-1 location information is not equal to current wireless-location technology.

• When communicating with 911, use plain language. No abbreviations, shortcuts or slang.

• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 at this time.

• Language interpretation is not currently available when texting 911.

• As with all text messages, messages to 911 may take longer to receive, may get out of order, or may not be received at all.

• Text to 9-1-1 is an enhancement to the existing 911 system and is not intended to replace traditional emergency voice calls. Text messages are routed to the appropriate Palm Beach County 911 center, in a designated queue.