Palm Beach County recently announced that hearing and/or speech-impaired members of the community, or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 911, now have another option to request help in an emergency via text to 911.
The benefits to the public are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples include an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing or has a speech disability; someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911; or a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.
Residents are urged to call if you can and text only if you can’t. Do not include anyone other than 911 in the text message. Always provide your location in the text, because location information via text is not equal to current wireless-location technology.
When communicating with 911, use plain language without abbreviations, shortcuts or slang. Do not send photos or videos.
As with all text messages, messages to 911 may take longer to receive, may get out of order, or may not be received at all.
This feature is an enhancement to the existing 911 system and is not intended to replace traditional emergency voice calls. Text messages are routed to the appropriate Palm Beach County 911 center, in a designated queue.