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Posted on: March 29, 2021

Text-to-9-1-1 option available in South Dakota

Text to 911

PIERRE, S.D. – Text-to-9-1-1 is now available throughout South Dakota.

Wireless cell phone customers in South Dakota can text to 9-1-1 when they can’t call in an emergency. The text, like a phone call, will be routed to a local 9-1-1 dispatch center.

“Text-to-9-1-1 should only be used in an emergency when you can’t call 9-1-1,” said Craig Price, cabinet secretary for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. “The Text-to-9-1-1 option would be good to use if speaking out loud would put the caller in danger or if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired.”

Text-to-9-1-1 is not yet 100 percent activated in Todd County. People texting 9-1-1 in that county will receive a message stating that text service is unavailable and they will be directed to make a 9-1-1 call instead.

People who are unable to call 9-1-1, should remember these steps about Text to 9-1-1:

  • Don’t text and drive.
  • In the first text message, send the location and type of emergency.
  • Text in simple words; keep the text message short without the use of abbreviations or slang.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • Voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you can, text if you can’t.

For more information on the Text to 9-1-1 program in South Dakota, visit text911sd.com.

The state 9-1-1 Coordination Program is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

Text to 911


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