Text 9-1-1 Now Available In San Diego County

9-1-1 emergency service is now available via text in San Diego County. Calling 9-1-1 is still the fastest way to get help, but if that's not an option, texting is the next best way.

To use the service, senders need to text their location and the nature of their emergency to 9-1-1. A response will be sent by a dispatcher who will ask for more information from the sender.

Officials stress the following:

  • 9-1-1 should be used for EMERGENCIES ONLY (more details below)
  • Senders should NOT use emojis, abbreviations, or acronyms
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent
  • The service is only available in English at this time
  • Messages cannot be sent that include other people
  • Intentional misuse of the system is a crime and a punishable offense
  • Standard data rates apply

The national 9-1-1 website, defines an EMERGENCY as: any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or ambulance. Examples include:

  • A fire
  • A crime, especially if in progress
  • A car crash, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, especially for symptoms that require immediate medical attention

When you call 911, be prepared to provide:

  • The location of the emergency, including the street address
  • The phone number you are calling from
  • The nature of the emergency
  • Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency

"If you accidentally sent a 9-1-1 message, send a reply clarifying there is no emergency," the Sheriff's Department said.

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