On August 23, 2019, the Madison County Emergency Communications District implemented text to 9-1-1 service for Jackson and Madison County. Wireless customers can send a text (up to 140 characters) to 9-1-1 in an emergency.
Not all wireless service providers are capable of texting 9-1-1 just yet. We have successfully tested with 4 out of 5 wireless providers in our area. If your provider does not support this technology at this time, you will receive a bounce back message stating you should call 9-1-1 instead.
Why would you text 9-1-1 instead of picking up the phone and making a voice call? There are certain circumstances where a text to 9-1-1 would be better. Perhaps there is an intruder in your home and you have to remain silent, or maybe you are hearing impaired or speech impaired it would be better to text 9-1-1 as opposed to making a voice call.
If there is an emergency and you are unable to make a call, remember these steps:
• Do not text and drive.
• In the first text message send the location and type of emergency. This will help 9-1-1 professionals send the proper emergency responders to your location.
• Text in simple words - Send a short text message in English without abbreviations. Spell everything out….do not leave the dispatcher trying to figure out what the abbreviations mean. Seconds matter during an emergency.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
Do NOT Abuse 9-1-1
Text to 9-1-1 service is ONLY for emergencies. It is a crime to text or call 9-1-1 with a false report.
A few things to remember when placing a Text to 9-1-1.
• A text or data plan is required to place a Text to 9-1-1. Please note - Wireless devices connected to WiFi will not be able to connect to 9-1-1 at this time.
• If you do not receive a text response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time. This is the next project we will be working to implement.
• Text to 9-1-1 cannot be part of a group text. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
Text to 9-1-1 service is not available in ALL locations of Tennessee or the United States. If your call is delivered to a dispatch center that does not have this technology, you will receive a bounce back message letting you know you have reached a dispatch center that does not currently have this technology and to please dial 9-1-1 instead.
Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t