Text to 9-1-1 Launches in Fairfax County

9:25 a.m.

This morning, Fairfax County’s 9-1-1 Center began accepting text to 9-1-1 calls for service. Fairfax County is the first jurisdiction in Northern Virginia – and one of the largest 9-1-1 Centers in the country – to implement this service.

Text to 9-1-1 is available within Fairfax County and the Towns of Herndon, Vienna, Clifton and the City of Fairfax.  The service is set up to operate similar to the way 9-1-1 voice calls are handled.  A text to 9-1-1 call will generally route the same way a voice call to 9-1-1 is routed.

Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:

  • For an individual who is deaf, hard-of-hearing or has a speech disability.
  • For someone who is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 9-1-1.
  • A medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech.

In this video, Steve Souder, director of our 9-1-1 Center, explains what text to 9-1-1 is and how it benefits the residents of the county.

Voice calls are the best and preferred method for contacting 9-1-1. However, remember this important phrase: Call if you can. Text if you can’t.

text to 9-1-1 logo

If text to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, users should receive a message indicating that text to 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by phone.

  • As with all text messages, 9-1-1 text messages can take longer to receive, may be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are in a “roaming” situation.
  • 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 at this time.
  • Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not copy your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
  • Do not text and drive.

Learn more online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/911/text-to-911.htm.


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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

2 responses to “Text to 9-1-1 Launches in Fairfax County”

  1. Anonymous says :

    The link to the website works, but the website has no information on it… :/