Text-to-911 Now Available in Hardee County

November 3, 2020
Text-to-911 Now Available in Hardee County
Media Contact: Makayla Chancey, PIO

Text-to-911 is now available in Hardee County, which gives individuals the ability to make an emergency call via text message. The Hardee County Sheriff’s Office text-to-911 instillation process initially began in November of 2018, and was finalized last week, in October of 2020.

It’s highly important to understand you should still call 911 rather than text, this way the dispatcher taking the call can ask extra questions and gather further information. Remember, call when you can, text when you can’t. If you’re capable of making a phone call, and it’s safe for you to do so, then that’s always the best option.

But, if you’re in a situation where it would place you in more danger to talk on the phone, then you can text 911 and be in contact with a dispatcher the same way, who will text back and forth with you, asking questions. A dispatcher will respond to the messages as quickly as possible.

If you must text 911, do the following:

  • Keep messages brief
  • Text the location, nature of emergency, and your name
  • Avoid slang and abbreviations
  • Don’t text and drive
  • Avoid text lingo, information can be misinterpreted

You must have an active text and/or data plan to send a text message to 911. Apps are not capable of texting 911. You’ll receive an automated ‘bounce back’ message if you attempt to send a text to 911 in an area where it’s unavailable.

When you call or text 911, you’ll be asked a number of questions that are very important. Stay calm, listen to the questions the dispatcher asks you and answer all of the questions as best you can. Don’t hang up until the dispatcher tells you to. You’re the eyes and ears of the emergency personnel who are responding – What you can see and hear is important to them.