Boulder County has introduced text to 911 service in all communities within the county. This new service allows residents to text dispatch during an emergency. Text to 911 is supported by all four 911 dispatch centers in the county which connect callers to public safety response agencies including police, fire, emergency medical services and other rescue teams.
Most large cell phone providers are enabled for text to 911 at this point in time. However, some small carriers are requiring their customers to sign off on service contracts which state that you acknowledge the cell phone carrier does not provide text to 911 access. Please understand that the Longmont Emergency Communications Centers can provide the service, the carrier has made the decision not to participate. Please check with your carrier before signing the contract. The FCC does not mandate that the smaller companies comply with this ability. The FCC advises that it is the responsibility of the consumer to ensure the carriers support of Text2911.
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all voluntarily agreed to provide the service in 2014.
If you are in a location that cannot send/receive text messages, you will receive a message advising you to call 911 directly due to the service not being available. Regular text message rates will apply with this service.
Please do not text to 911 to test whether or not you have this service.
Using the text to 911 service is only recommended if it is the only option and making a voice call to 911 is not possible. Remember to Call If You Can, Text If You Must. Some situations where this would be appropriate include:
- A caller reporting an emergency is hard of hearing, deaf or speech-impaired
- Voice connectivity is unavailable, but texts can be sent – this is true in some mountain areas
- Situations when silence is of the utmost importance for your safety– instances of intrusion, abuse or other dangerous situations in which making a phone call would escalate the emergency
If a resident does need to send a text, it should be simple, brief and concise and should not use abbreviations. No photos or videos can be sent via text to 911 at this time. Unlike with phone calls, dispatchers will not automatically receive location information. For this reason, if it is necessary to send a text message it is important to include an accurate location or address in the message as quickly as possible.
Boulder County 911 dispatch centers can receive and reply to text to 911 messages but they cannot initiate a text message conversation.
See an informational video below:
For additional information, please email or call (303)651-8560.