Texting 9-1-1

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Texting 9-1-1
The Steuben County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) is equipped to receive and respond to texts sent to 9-1-1.   We highly encourage people to call 9-1-1 if at all possible however.  Texting at this time does not provide us with location information.

We realize there may be times when texting 9-1-1 is the only option.  These may include:

  • When a voice carrier is not available
  • When there is danger that a person may be overheard speaking to a 9-1-1 operator.  This might be if someone has broken into your home not knowing you’re inside.  Please remember though that we will not know your location – this is why we place emphasis on calling 9-1-1 if at all possible.

 Please be aware of several things about texting:

  1. Not all 9-1-1 centers are able to receive text messages.  Some centers may have the ability to get the message but lack the means to respond back.
  2. You may not get the 9-1-1 center that handles the area you’re in.
  3. At present, we not able to receive attachments accompanying a text message.  This could include a picture of an accident, document file or voice file.  The technology is evolving to permit this, but is still in the testing phase nationwide.

 The bottom line is that it is still best to call 9-1-1 if at all possible.  Use texting only as last means.