Text to 911 Service Now Available in Forsyth County March 15, 2019 911 Center, Photo For use when voice calls are not possible Forsyth County 911 residents in need of emergency services are now able to send a text message to 911 when voice calls are not viable. “Voice calls are still the best and fastest way to contact 911,” said 911 Center Director Pat Giordano. “But having the option to send a text message provides an opportunity for those with hearing or speech impairments and those in unsafe conditions to seek help.” The service is offered by all mobile providers to customers with a text or data plan. When texting 911 might be better than calling: • If you have a hearing or speech disability • If you are unable, for medical reasons, to speak into the phone. • If your safety would be compromised if you spoke out loud – for example, during a home invasion or abduction. • If your phone signal isn’t strong enough for a voice call to go through. Things to remember when sending a text to 911: • Include your exact location and the nature of your emergency. • Use clear, simple language. Abbreviations and slang may create more confusion and delay response time. • Silence the phone’s ringtone if the noise may compromise safety. If you stop responding to text messages from the 911 center, the dispatcher may need to call to check on your safety. • Do not text and drive. Not only is this dangerous, but it is illegal in Georgia. Please pull over to a safe location and stop your car prior to sending a text to 911. • Do not copy other people on a text sent to 911. • Do not attach pictures or videos to a text message to 911 unless requested. • If you are in an area where text to 911 service is not available, you will get a “bounce back” message telling you to make a voice call instead. For more information on the Text to 911 service and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Forsyth County 911 Center webpage at forsythco.com.