Released: October 4, 2017 - Wednesday, 09:36 AM

Text to 9-1-1 Announcement

Contact: Tony CipollaPhone: (805) 781-4547Date and time of incident: 10-4-17Place of Occurrence: Sheriff's Office Dispatch CenterVictim Information: N/ASuspect Information: N/AThe Sheriff's Office, along with the Arroyo Grande and Morro Bay Police Departments, is pleased to announce a new option when it comes to contacting 9-1-1 during an emergency. It's called Text to 9-1-1 and is designed for hearing and speech-impaired members of the community or those in a situation where it is too dangerous to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
“Call if you can - text if you can’t” is the slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the new technology makes its debut in parts of California. Effective immediately the Sheriff's Office Dispatch center is now equipped to receive and respond to mobile phone SMS Text to 9-1-1 messages in San Luis Obispo County.
This new program allows a person to send a "short message" (SMS) to 9-1-1. The benefits are significant, especially in cases when the caller cannot communicate verbally. Examples include not only the hearing and speech-impaired, but also when a crime is in process, the caller is facing domestic abuse, or the caller is injured and cannot speak.
Funding for the Text to 9-1-1 program is provided by the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
Below are the FCC guidelines for how to contact 9-1-1. If you use a wireless phone or other type of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:
• If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, “Call if you can – text if you can’t.”

• Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.

• Text-to-9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.

• Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.

• A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.

• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at the 9-1-1 center at this time.

• Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.

• Text-to- 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.

• Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.

The following is a list of law enforcement and fire agencies that are currently equipped to receive Text to 9-1-1 for San Luis Obispo County:
-San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office
-San Luis Obispo Police & Fire Departments
-Atascadero Police Department
-Morro Bay Police Department
-Arroyo Grande Police Department
-Pismo Beach Police Department
-Grover Beach Police Department