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Press Conference For Text to 9-1-1 Service Scheduled For August 8

On Monday, August 8, 2016, the Peoria County Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) will hold a Press Conference at 11:00 in the Community Room of the Peoria Police Department to announce the availability of Emergency Text to 9-1-1 in Peoria County.  Text to 9-1-1 service will be available for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 9-1-1 in an emergency.   This will also be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community. City of Peoria staff members and employees from partner agencies will be on hand to answer questions.

Testing for Text to 9-1-1 has been completed in Peoria County and is available with plans from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon Wireless.   Text to 9-1-1 may not be available outside of Peoria County.  If a text is made to 9-1-1 where that service is not available, an automated bounce back message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer to make a voice call.

Some scenarios where texting to 9-1-1 would be appropriate are:

  • Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with a speech disability.
  • A caller that is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition.
  • Emergency situations that would put a caller in danger if they were to make a voice call.
    • Examples include a home invasion, abduction, domestic violence, or active-shooter situation.

When texting to 9-1-1, follow these guidelines:

  • Provide your address or exact location.
  • Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested.
  • Be prepared to answer any questions that the 9-1-1 telecommunicator texts back.
  • Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, or emoticons.
  • Messages should be brief and concise.

Texting 9-1-1 can be done by typing “911” in the field for a phone number.  No other numbers need to be used.   Texting should be done through your wireless phones text messaging service and not from third party texting applications.  Text to 9-1-1 does require an active telephone service plan or it will not work.

Remember, the best way to contact 9-1-1 is by making a voice call.  Please utilize this service only in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe.


The Peoria County ETSB is excited to offer text to 9-1-1 service to the citizens of Peoria County.

Remember:  CALL if you can, TEXT if you can’t!


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