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Hearing and speech-impaired members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1 have another option to call for help in an emergency – Text to 9-1-1.
Effective immediately, Ventura County law enforcement agencies’ and fire agencies’ Public Safety 9-1-1 Centers (dispatch) will be equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone SMS Text-to-9-1-1 messages.
Benefits to the public are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples include not only the hearing-impaired, but also when a crime is in progress, the caller is facing domestic abuse, the caller is injured and cannot speak, or other scenarios.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and the Association of Public Safety Officials (APCO) agreed in 2012 to provide Text-to-9-1-1 as a nationwide interim solution until the Next Generation of 9-1-1 is deployed. Text-to-9-1-1 technology will provide the public with an additional means of requesting emergency services and will provide additional support to the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and the speech-impaired communities.
Below are the FCC guidelines for how to contact 9-1-1. If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:
Limitations on Text to 9-1-1:
Also, unlike a voice call, text messages are not real-time communication and are subject to issues such as messages being received out of order or being delayed due to carrier limitations and volume.
All 9-1-1 centers within Ventura County are currently equipped to receive Text-to-9-1-1 and include the following:
For additional information regarding Text-to-9-1-1, please contact the local law enforcement agency where you reside. If located in the City of Ventura, please contact the Ventura Police Department at 805-339-4400.