(Editor’s note: A reader sent the following information about texting and 911.)
Residents across Los Angeles County will be able to send a text message to 911 if they are unable to call for help.
The Text to 911 system is aimed primarily at hearing-or speech-impaired residents who might not be able to call 911, but it is available to anyone who might be in danger but unable to make a phone call.
“It is important that all residents are able to contact police, fire and emergency medical services when needed,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said.
The new system was announced on December 1. Text messages should be brief, and should not contain abbreviations, slang or emojis.
The first text message sent should contain the location and a short description of the emergency, and the type of help needed. The sender should be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 dispatcher.
Reggie Harrison, Long Beach director of disaster preparedness and emergency communications, said that despite the availability of texting, “I want to remind everyone that calling 9-1-1 remains the most effective method to access emergency personnel.
According to a December 3 LA Times story: “However, it [texting] is not meant as a total replacement for calling 911 traditionally,” said Sgt. Daniel Suttles, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department.
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