BEDFORD — Chief Robert Bongiorno is pleased to announce that the Bedford Police Department now accepts Text-To-911.
The Massachusetts State 911 Department announced last month that all 911 call centers now have the ability to receive text messages from those seeking emergency services. The service allows those in need of emergency services to use their cellular device to contact 911 when they are unable to place a voice call.
If you are able to call, you should still do so, but the Text-to-911 feature now enables residents to seek help when they cannot call for any reason.
“This feature provides our first responders with another vital tool to provide aid during emergencies,” Chief Bongiorno said. “While you should still call if possible, I’m pleased to be able to offer this alternative for anyone in need.”
Before using Text-To-911, residents should be aware of the following:
- To use Text-to-911, the mobile device requires an active telephone number with a
carrier and an active texting/data plan.
- Type the numbers “911” into the “To” or “Recipient” field of a new text message.
Do not place dashes between the numbers.
- Text what is happening and what assistance you may need—police, fire or an
- Text the location of the emergency, including the address and town name;
- Text any details that may help locate you, such as landmarks, cross streets, nearby
business names, apartment number, floor, room or suite numbers.
- Text locations provided by carriers are not the same, or as accurate, as the location
received when a voice call is made.
- If Text-to-911 is temporarily unavailable in the area you are sending a message from, wireless carriers send a bounce-back message. The message will advise you to contact emergency services by other means, such as a voice call.
- When your message has been received, the 9-1-1 professionals will send you messages and begin asking questions about the emergency you reported, and may provide instructions on things for you to do.
- You cannot send emojis, pictures or videos to 911.
- You cannot send a group text-to-911 and other recipients.
- Remember, at any time, you can make a voice call to 911. If you cannot speak, the 9-1-1 professional will try to communicate with you using another means.
For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.