Alameda County Regional Emergency Communications Center (ACRECC) has officially launched its text to 9-1-1 campaign. Mobile users now have the ability to send text messages to 9-1-1, allowing deaf, hearing and speech impaired residents, or those in situations where it is too dangerous to make a voice call to 9-1-1, a potentially lifesaving option.
"Call If You Can -- Text If You Can't"
is the slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), adopted by several California jurisdictions. ACRECC is now equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone SMS Text to 9-1-1 messages. “ACRECC delivers regional communications through dispatching fire and emergency medical services that optimize the deployment and coordination of emergency resources while providing superior customer service to several agencies within Alameda County,” said Dispatch Manager Rosa Ramos. “Our ability to deploy an alternate method in receiving emergency communications from our residents is another tool in keeping our communities safe.”
The FCC has established guidelines for how to contact 9-1-1 via text:
- If you can, always make a 9-1-1 voice call, "Call if you can - text if you can't."
- If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled, and Text to 9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
- Text to 9-1-1 is not available if the device is “roaming.”
- If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising "text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1."
- Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.
- Text to 9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.
- A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.
- Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at this time.
- Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.
- Text to 9-1-1 cannot be sent in a group message.
- Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.
For more information, contact Rosa Ramos, Dispatch Manager at 925-423-1803.