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Text-to-911 is Available Statewide in Minnesota

Watch announcement, learn more information

12/15/2017 10:00:00 AM

DPS Highlights: Minnesota Deploys Text-to-911 Service Statewide

Text-to-911 arrived in Minnesota on December 5, 2017. It is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks Division (DPS-ECN) as a vital alternative to calling 911 in an emergency. Remember this motto, "Call if you can, text if you can't."

Individuals who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or those with speech impairments may use Text-to-911 as a first contact option (one of several options depending on your communication preferences and devices). 

Please spend some time doing two things:

Plan how to get help during an emergency

Think about how you will contact 911 in an emergency. What you might do at home or work might be different than what you do when you are out (at the store, at the park, etc.)

For example, if you have a videophone, TTY, or CapTel phone at home/work, you might plan to use that when you are home/work and plan to text 911 when you are somewhere else. The 911 call centers can still receive TTY calls.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure the address linked to your videophone is right.

Learn about Text-to-911

Review the information that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has provided. Knowledge is power. 

Read instructions on how to text 911 so you understand what dispatchers need to know. For example, if you are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing, tell the dispatcher right away so they don't ask you if they can call you instead. 

Also, read through and become familiar with the technical challenges of using Text-to-911. For example, if your phone is roaming, then texting will not work.

If you are deaf, deafblind, or hard of hearing and have questions about Text-to-911, you can contact your local Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHSD) regional office

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety will release a new video in both ASL and English about Text-to-911 in the next few months. MNCDHH and DHHSD will contribute to this project. Watch for it.

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