9-1-1: Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t
Feb 15, 2021: Paris, Tenn.–Henry County 9-1-1 Director Mark Archer and the Emergency Communications District announced today that the 911 dispatch center has begun accepting text–to–9-1-1 service for Henry County.
The announcement represents months of hard work on the part of Archer and the Emergency Communications staff.
Archer said Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless customers can now send a text (up to 140 characters) to 9-1-1 in an emergency. Text to 9-1-1 should only be used in an emergency situation when placing a call is not possible: For instance, if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger.
Voice Calls to 9-1-1 Are Still the Best and Fastest Way to Contact 9-1-1
If there is an emergency and you are unable to make a call, remember these steps:
- In the first text message send the location and type of emergency.
• Text in simple words – Send a short text message in English without abbreviations or slang. • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 dispatcher. • Do Not text and drive
Don’t 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. Prank-texters can be located the same way as 911 callers.
The Text-to-9-1-1 service may have many challenges.
- A text or data plan is required to place a Text-to-9-1-1
• As with all text messages, messages to 9-1-1 may take longer to receive, may get out of order, or may not be received at all. A 911 call is always the best way to call for help when possible.
- 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 but will be possible in the near future.
• Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
- Voice Calls to 9-1-1 Are Still the Best and Fastest Way to Contact 9-1-1. Remember, Text-to-9-1-1 service is not yet available everywhere in Tennessee and in the U.S.