Cell Phones and Texting to 911

Wireless Calls

Cell phone users should be aware that their phone does not provide the 911 center with the same information as your home phone. When you call 911 from a land line (home, business, pay phone, etc.), the 911 operator usually receives your address, phone number and in whose name the phone is billed. This is not the case with mobile phones. Most cell calls provide the phone number and an approximate location of the caller. However, an approximate location may not be good enough.

Remember, when calling 911 from a cell phone, know your location. We can talk to you, we have your phone number to call you back, but we can't get you help until we know where you are located.

Currently 85% of all 911 calls to our center are from wireless phones. Many accidental calls occur through activations of emergency buttons on wireless phones. When a cell phone inadvertently calls 911, it takes up operator time that could be better used for an emergency situation. To avoid accidental calls to 911, please remember to lock down the keypad of your wireless phone when not in use.

Text to 911 Capability

It was important to prepare and bring this capability to our area to add another way to contact 911, especially for the speech and hearing-impaired community. When a response is needed from police, fire, or emergency medical ambulance personnel, you can now text '911' and your message will be delivered into our phone system. We will be able to text a response and determine what assistance you need. Greene County is only one of approximately 16 counties in the state of Missouri that has the ability to receive text-to-911 messages.

Text to 911 Instructions

Voice 911 calls are still the preferred method of receiving emergency calls so the telecommunicator can talk with the person. The slogan 'call if you can, text if you can't' is exactly what the community should remember.

Other tips include knowing your location, being brief, using plain language, and avoid abbreviations so the telecommunicators can clearly understands what is occurring.