Call If You Can, Text If You Can't
- Deaf, hard of hearing callers or individuals with a speech disability
- The caller is unable to speak due to a medical issue or other condition
- When speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, an abduction, a domestic violence incident or an active-shooter scenario
- Be sure to include clear information about the location (including city) of the emergency with the type of help needed (police, fire, or medical) in the first text message sent to 911. Emergency personnel cannot always determine your location
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations, emoticons or emoji or send videos or photos.
- Keep text messages brief and concise
- Stay on the line until the dispatcher closes the dialog, if it is safe to do so
- You cannot include 9-1-1 in a group text or while roaming
- Don’t forget to silence your phone if you don’t want to be heard
- Do not text and drive
In 2018, Santa Clara's Public Safety Dispatchers fielded 67 texts providing another layer of service to enhance public safety.
Dialing 9-1-1 in an emergency is still the preferred way to request help, and the public is reminded to “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”