A new emergency service is now available in Routt County for those who cannot safely call 911 during an emergency, or who are unable to dial 911 for any reason. The Routt County Emergency Communications Center can now receive 911 text messages. Dialing 911 in an emergency is still the recommended way to request help, so you should call 911 if you can, and text if you can’t. Sending a text to 911 will likely take longer than a voice call, as it takes longer to go through the system and to process. Location information with text to 911 is also not as accurate as calling 911. Additional information on the text 911 service in Routt County is available below.
Tips on texting 911 in an emergency:
- Silence your phone if you are in danger, or don’t want to be heard.
- Provide clear information about your location and the type of help needed in the first text message sent to 911. Emergency personnel cannot always determine your location.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker. Keep the text dialogue open until the dispatcher ends the dialog, if it is safe to do so.
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations, emoticons, or emojis.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
When to text 911:
- A disability prevents or inhibits a person from effectively making a 911 phone call
- The caller is unable to speak due to a medical issue or other condition
- When speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, an abduction, a domestic violence incident, or otherwise threatened.
How to text 911:
- Be prepared to answer the 911 call taker’s questions
- Enter the numbers 911 in the ‘To’ field.
- In the message field, type your exact location and a BRIEF description of the help you need. Use simple words. Do not use abbreviations or shorthand.
- Push the ‘Send’ button.
- Group texts, photos, and video cannot be sent to 911 at this time.