Text to 911

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Boulder County residents now have access to Text-to-9-1-1 service

All dispatch centers throughout the county are enabled for this service

Boulder, Colorado - Boulder County has introduced Text-to-9-1-1 service in all communities within the county as of Thursday, Oct. 8. This new service allows residents to text dispatch during an emergency. Text-to-9-1-1 is supported by all four 9-1-1 dispatch centers in the county which connect callers to public safety response agencies including police, fire, emergency medical services and other rescue teams.

Text-to-9-1-1 service is enabled on the four major cell phone carriers in our area: AT&T (Cricket), Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. All other smaller carriers should be enabled for texting within the next six months. If your carrier does not support 9-1-1 texting at this time, or if you are in a location that cannot send/receive text messages, you will receive a bounce back message. Regular text message rates will apply with this service.

Using the Text-to-9-1-1 service is only recommended if it is the only option and making a voice call to 9-1-1 is not possible. Remember to Call If You Can, Text If You Must. Some situations where this would be appropriate include:

  • A caller reporting an emergency is hard of hearing, deaf or speech-impaired
  • Voice connectivity is unavailable, but texts can be sent – this is true in some mountain areas
  • Situations when silence is of the utmost importance for your safety– instances of intrusion, abuse or other dangerous situations in which making a phone call would escalate the emergency 

If a resident does need to send a text, it should be simple, brief and concise and should not use abbreviations. No photos or videos can be sent via text to 9-1-1 at this time. Unlike with phone calls, dispatchers will not automatically receive location information. For this reason, if it is necessary to send a text message it is important to include an accurate location or address in the message as quickly as possible.

Boulder County 9-1-1 dispatch centers can receive and reply to Text-to-9-1-1 messages but they cannot initiate a text message conversation.

More details and an informational video are available.