Citizens in the city limits of Henderson can now send a text message to 9-1-1 for emergency help when unable to make a 9-1-1 voice call. As of June, 2015, this service will be available to any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless customer. Text to 9-1-1 was not developed as a replacement or option to calling
9-1-1 in an emergency situation, but rather as an enhancement to reaching 9-1-1 services in three specific situations:
1) the caller is hearing/voice impaired,
2) a medical emergency renders the person incapable of speech, or
3) when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, an abduction, a domestic violence incident, or an active shooter scenario.
Wireless customers in the City of Henderson should keep the following in mind if they send a text to 911:
• Customers should use the texting option only when calling 9-1-1 is not an option.
• Using a phone to call 9-1-1 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help. Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a life-threatening emergency. It may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services in a text to 9-1-1 situations because of the time involved.
• Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the City of Henderson dispatchers will receive only the location of the cell phone tower closest to the call’s origin.
• Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
• Customers must be in range of cell towers in the City of Henderson. If customers are outside or near the edge of the city, the message may not reach the City’s dispatchers.
• Texts to 9-1-1 from areas where the service is not available will receive a “bounce back” message telling them to make a voice call.
• Texts sent to 9-1-1 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages.
• The texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services. For non-emergency situations, customers should contact their local public safety agency via a 10 digit non-emergency number.
• Text to 911 should only be used to communicate between emergency help and the texter with no emoticons, pictures, video, other attachments or other recipients added to the message.
• There is no charge to the caller for text to 9-1-1.
• The non-emergency number for Henderson Dispatch is 702-267-5000.
• Only cell phones with an existing data plan can use this feature. If you do not have a data plan, you will not be able to text to 9-1-1 and will receive a “bounce back” message.