Text to 911 is available throughout Multnomah County, according to the Portland 911 Bureau of Emergency Communications.
The service is intended to benefit people who may not be able to speak due to an emergency such as a home invasion or abusive partner, as well as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have limited speech capabilities.
“Like other 911 calls, Text to 911 should be used for in-progress emergencies, those requiring immediate response from police, fire and/or emergency medical services,” said bureau liaison manager Laura Wolfe. If the situation is not an emergency requiring immediate response, she advised calling the public safety nonemergency line 503.823-3333.
For Text to 911, simply address your text to 911 – with no dashes or spaces – then type your message and send.
“Do not send your message to multiple people in a group text,” she added. “That will stop the message from reaching a 911 center.”
If you are within an area that does not yet offer the service, you will receive a return message that states services are not available. If that happens, place a voice call to 911 to report your emergency.
“It is critical that you know your location,” the bureau liaison said. “In general, the 911 center cannot always identify your location if you’re contacting us from a cell phone.”