Text-to-911 is now available in Franklin County.

If you need help, but can’t safely speak on the phone or are unable to speak, use your mobile phone to send a text message to 911.

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When to Use It


Calling is the best and fastest way to reach 911. But you should text if:


You are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability.

Not Safe

You are in a situation where it’s not safe to call 911 for help.


You are having an medical problem and cannot speak on the phone.

How it Works

It is a crime to text 911 with a false report. If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text or place a call to let the dispatcher know that there is no emergency.

Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field
Text the exact location of the emergency
Briefly describe what kind of help you need
Push the “Send” button
Respond to any questions you receive
Follow instructions given by dispatcher
If you’re driving, pull over when it’s safe. Do not text and drive!


Any text-enabled phone or tablet with a data service plan that allows texts will work, regardless of service provider.

Text-to-911 is available throughout Franklin County. The only other Central Ohio jurisdiction able to receive texts to 911 is Delaware county. Elsewhere in the state or country, the service is very limited.

No. Be sure to provide your location and the nature of your emergency when you text.

Emergency dispatchers use translation services to understand phone calls in different languages. These services are not currently available for texts.

No. They are treated like any other text message, and subject to the same possible delays, reliance on signal strength, etcetera.

No. Emergency dispatchers cannot right now receive pictures, video, or emojis via text. Likewise, they cannot receive messages that are part of a group text chain or with more than one recipient.

No. Text-to-911, like calling 911 on the phone is reserved for emergencies only.