News Archive

October 8, 2015

Media Contact

Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Boulder County residents now have access to Text-to-9-1-1 service

All dispatch centers throughout the county
are enabled for this service

Boulder, Colorado - Boulder County has introduced Text-to-9-1-1 service in all communities
within the county as of Thursday, Oct. 8. This new service allows residents to
text dispatch during an emergency. Text-to-9-1-1 is supported by all four 9-1-1
dispatch centers in the county
which connect callers to public
safety response agencies including police, fire, emergency medical services and
other rescue teams.

Text-to-9-1-1 service is enabled on the four major cell phone carriers in
our area: AT&T (Cricket), Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. All other smaller
carriers should be enabled for texting within the next six months. If your
carrier does not support 9-1-1 texting at this time, or if you are in a
location that cannot send/receive text messages, you will receive a bounce back
message. Regular text message rates will apply with this service.

Using the Text-to-9-1-1 service is only recommended if it is the only
option and making a voice call to 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 dispatch centers can receive and reply to
Text-to-9-1-1 messages but they cannot initiate a text message conversation.

For
more information, visit the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, the City of
Boulder Police Department, the City of
Longmont Department of Public Safety or the University of Colorado at Boulder Police
Department webpages. More details and an
informational video are
available online.

Logos for all participating agencies