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Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization

Unified. Prepared. Resilient.

Phone: 503-823-5386

FAX: 503-823-3903

Text to 911

Text to 911

The RDPO is pleased to have supported a historic achievement for 911 in our Portland metropolitan region.  With funding from the RDPO, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications, along with 911 centers in Clackamas County, Clark County, Clatsop County, Columbia County, Marion County, Multnomah and Washington County have recently implemented a Text-to-911 service. Text-to-911 is intended to benefit those who may not be able to speak in an emergency, assisting those in situations such as a home invasion or an abusive partner, as well as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or with limited speech capabilities. Like other 911 calls, Text-to-911 should be used only for emergencies requiring immediate response from Police, Fire and/or EMS. Using Text-to-911 is like any other text message; to report an emergency enter “911” in the “TO” field, type your message, and hit “SEND”. Text-to-911 can only receive words and punctuation. Using emoji, pictures, and videos will corrupt your message, stopping it from going through. Sending your message in a group text to multiple recipients will also interfere with the delivery of your text.  Currently, Text-to-911 is only available in English as language interpretation services are not yet available, though 911 dispatchers will do their best to assist you if you aren’t able to text in English. It is critical that you know your location, because location inaccuracies continue to be a concern with text-to-911. Just like when placing a 911 call, you need to be able to describe where you are so help can find you. If you are within an area that does not yet offer text-to-911 services, you will receive a return message that states services are not available. If that happens, place a voice call to 911.