In May of 2014 the Allegheny County Emergency Services 911 Center began to participate in the national “Text to 911” initiative. The service allows cellular phone and mobile device users to send a text message to a participating 911 center if they are unable to make a voice call.
Not all wireless providers are offering this capability; however by December 31, 2015 the Federal Communications Commission has ordered all wireless providers to support this feature.
“Text to 911” should only be used if you are unable to make a voice call to 911. It is practical for use by hearing impaired persons, and when circumstances may be too dangerous to risk making noise.
Your message, if your phone service provider currently supports this feature, will be received by a 911 operator, who in turn will reply back via text to ascertain the nature of your emergency and your location. You will also be requested to make a voice call if possible.