Date: August 26, 2018
Re: Connecticut Launches Text-to-911 Capability
Issued by: Lt. Jeremiah P.
The State of Connecticut has launched a new Text-to-911
capability as part of the state’s new Next Generation 9-1-1 Emergency
Telecommunications System. Text-to-911 provides residents with the ability to
send a text message to 9-1-1 from a handheld device in emergency situations
when it is either unsafe or they are unable to place a voice call. The system,
which is available statewide, is now in effect.
Residents should be cautioned that voice calls to 9-1-1 remain
the best and fastest way to contact emergency services whenever it is feasible
to do so. Text-to-911 is only intended to be used when absolutely necessary or
Text-to-911 is specifically intended for individuals who are
deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. It is also intended to be
used when people are in certain situations that would be unsafe or impractical
to place an audible voice call, such as during a home invasion, an act of
domestic violence, or active mass shooting, and also during medical emergencies
that render a person incapable of speech.
The Text-to-911 feature was added to enhance the public’s safety
and wellbeing and it could save lives, especially for those with hearing and
speech impairments and anyone in a situation where silence is essential to
their safety when summoning help.
To use Text-to-911, enter the numbers “911” in the “to” or
“recipient” field on a mobile phone or other handheld device. Text a brief
message that includes the location of the emergency and what services are
needed (police, fire, ambulance). After that, answer questions and follow
instructions from the 9-1-1 call center.
Connecticut’s 9-1-1 Emergency Telecommunications System is
maintained and operated by DESPP’s Division of Statewide Emergency
Telecommunications. To make residents aware of the new capability and educate
on the proper uses, DESPP has launched a public education campaign that will
include television and radio spots, online and cinema advertising, social media
alerts, and outreach to targeted populations.