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Posted on: August 8, 2019

Text to 9-1-1 Capability

We are pleased to announce, residents anywhere in the City of Boerne, City of Fair Oaks Ranch, and Kendall County can text “911” on their cell phones and be connected with a 911 dispatcher in an emergency. Speaking directly to a 9-1-1 dispatcher is always the best and fastest way to get help in an emergency or to report a crime in progress.

If you can call 911 for help, please do, but for those times when you can’t call, there is now “Text to 911”. This new feature is also a benefit to the hearing impaired and can be helpful in an emergency as opposed to a voice call to 911. Texting 911 gives emergency dispatchers the capability to communicate with citizens who find themselves in a position where they are unable to call 911 because of serious situations. These situations could be medical emergencies that render the callers incapable of talking or when speaking aloud could put the callers in danger by perpetrators potentially hearing the conversations with a 9-1-1 operator, such as an abduction, a home invasion robbery, or a domestic violence situation.

One important thing to know about texting 911 is, unlike phone calls, text messages don’t send a location to the dispatcher. It’s critical that a text to 911 include an address or location. Another thing to know about texting 911 is cell phones need to have a service plan that includes texting. You can make a voice call to 911 with a phone that doesn’t have a service plan, but it doesn’t work that way for texting.

Traditional voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the fastest way to reach emergency help and should always be the first option. Recent major critical incidents across of the country have shown that text messaging has increasingly been used as an effective form of communication to report an emergency so we are pleased to be able to now offer this service to our residents.

Guidelines for Text to 911

Enter the numbers “911” in the text “To” field.

The first text message to 9-1-1 should contain the location and brief description of the emergency and the type of help needed.

Push the “Send” button.

Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 text taker.

Text in simple words. Do not use abbreviations, emojis, or slang.

Keep text messages brief and concise.

Do not text and drive.

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