Text To 9-1-1 Service Now Available

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Courtesy of San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.

Chino Hills – Hearing- and speech-impaired members of the community or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to dial 9-1-1 now have another option to call for help in an emergency – Text to 9-1-1. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and State Emergency Communications 9-1-1 officials announced in December that local San Bernardino County law enforcement and fire agencies and Public Safety 9-1-1 Call Centers (dispatch) are now equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone SMS Text to 9-1-1 messages. Officials stress that you should always “Call if you can – text if you can’t” in an emergency situation.

The benefits to consumers are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. In situations where a crime is in process, the caller is in hiding, the caller is facing domestic abuse, or the caller is injured and cannot speak – Text to 9-1-1 can save a life. Any phones or devices that include a text or data plan can send a text to 9-1-1. Residents and visitors in Chino Hills and Chino can use the Text to 9-1-1 option. If a person sends a text to 9-1-1 and the service is not available in the area, they will receive a bounce-back message stating “text is not available, please make a voice call to 9-1-1.”

FCC Guidelines for Text to 9-1-1 are as follows: If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech disabled, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service if Text to 9-1-1 is unavailable; Be prepared to give your location; Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming or if the device cannot be located; A text or data plan is required; Do not send photos or videos; Send text messages in plain language, no abbreviations or emojis; Do not send your text to more than one person – send your emergency text to 9-1-1; and Text must be in English only.

The following law enforcement and fire agencies are currently equipped to receive Text to 9-1-1 messages in San Bernardino County: Barstow, Chino, Colton, Cal State University San Bernardino, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino and Upland.