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Text to 9-1-1

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Northwest Central Dispatch System Text to 9-1-1 Fact Sheet – Call if you can, text if you can’t.badges

"Text to 9-1-1" FAQs

PLEASE do not text and drive!

Can I send a text to 9-1-1?

Yes. Cellular customers living in or traveling through the Northwest Central Dispatch System service area may be able to use their mobile phones to send a text message to 911 for emergency help. Northwest Central Dispatch System serves the Villages of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Schaumburg and Streamwood and the City’s of Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows.

Texting should only be used during an emergency when you are unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.

How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  • The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

A few things to know if you need to text 9-1-1

  • Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1
  • If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time. Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.

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