Mobile users in Los Angeles County now have the ability to send text messages to 9-11, giving hearing and speech impaired residents, or those in situations where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1, a potentially life saving option. “Call if you can, text if you can’t,” is the slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the new technology makes its debut in the most populous county in the United States. The city of Los Angeles and the LAPD will lay an integral role in this new technology that has the potential to impact millions of Angelenos.
“We are rolling out a major improvement to our emergency response system today by giving people the ability to text 911 for urgent assistance,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, whose 2014 motion prompted the city’s move to adopt the new system. “This technology will save lives by providing people with speech or hearing impairments greater access to this service, and allow anyone in dangerous situations to send texts instantaneously to a 911 operator.
I applaud the LAPD for their diligent work and greatly appreciate their partnership to get this critical public safety upgrade off the ground.”Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) made the announcement on the campus of California State University, Long Beach, the first Public Safety Answering Point in the state of California to accept 9-1-1 texts.”Access to emergency services are not a luxury, they are critical and the Text to 9-1-1 system leverages technology to ensure first responders can attend to anyone, who may be in a situation where a phone call is not an option,” said LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck. He added, “I am proud of our local, county, and state partners, who worked tirelessly to get the system up and running to make California a safer place to live. Below are the FCC Guidelines for how to contact 9-1-1.
If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:-If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”-If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled, and Text to 9-1-1 is not available, use TTY or telecommunications really service, if available.-If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising text is not available, please make a voice call to 9-1-1.-Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon.
Be prepared to give your location.-Text to 9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.-Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming-A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.-Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at the 9-1-1 center at this time.-Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations or emojis, which will not be recognized. -Text to 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your text to anyone other than 9-1-1.-Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. Future language translation is still in development. For more information on Text to 9-1-1 go to www.caloes.ca.gov.