San Mateo County Residents Can Now Text 911 in an Emergency


San Mateo County has enabled 911 texting as an option for people in an emergency. Every law enforcement and fire agency dispatch center is now equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone 911 text messages. While this Text-to-911 program brings greater accessibility to people in emergency situations, Police and fire officials emphasize calling 911 is still the preferred way to get help during an emergency. But if calling is not an option, then send a text to 911.

San Mateo police offered the following tips for texting 911.

  • Always provide the exact location of the emergency
  • Text messages should be brief and easy to understand
  • Do not use abbreviations, emojis or slang
  • Remember that the ability to send/receive images and videos is limited and often dependent on the cellular provider
  • Texts can only be received in English at this time  –  this service will be available in additional languages in the near future in San Mateo County

It’s also important to note that phones or devices must be on a text or data plan, be text capable, and have their location services enabled to send a text message to 911.

Read the full Mercury News article here.