The Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services has recently added the capability to receive Text-to-911 messages at our PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) here in Lynchburg, VA. This enhancement will allow us to better serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community as well as those who are in truly dangerous situations and cannot make a voice call to 911.

General Information

  • Text-to-911 is an alternate option for citizens to contact 911 when a voice call is not possible.
  • Photos, videos, and emojis CANNOT be sent to 911.
  • A voice call is often the best and fastest way to reach 911 as well as receive lifesaving instructions. ALWAYS CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN'T!
  • Your location will NOT automatically be texted to 911. Always be prepared to describe your location to the 911 call taker.
  • Text-to-911 messages can take longer to recieve.
  • A text or data plan is required to text 911.
  • If you text 911 and it is not available, you will receive a message to contact 911 by voice call.
  • Your first text message should be brief and include the location and nature of the emergency.
  • Use PLAIN LANGUAGE. Stay away from abbreviations and slang.
  • Text communication takes longer, therefore it is best to call as long as you are in a SAFE environment.


Text-to-911 should be used for situations such as:

  • Domestic violence (when you can't get away from the suspect to safely call)
  • Burglary in progress
  • Abductions
  • Speech or hearing disabilities
  • If you feel a voice call could put you in a dangerous situation


Text-to-911 should NOT be used:

  • When a voice call is possible
  • As a prank
  • To report a non-life threatening situation
  • To report a crime tip to police
  • For administrative questions