Text, TTY, Wireless, VoIP

Text to 9-1-1

Text to 9-1-1 is now available in Maine.  A 9-1-1 voice call is always the fastest way to get the help, but if you can't, texting is your next best option.

Tips for Texting 9-1-1

  1. Open a text box on your phone and enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field.
  2. Type the location of your emergency and a brief description of why you need help.
  3. Push “send.”
  4. Respond to any questions to the best of your ability.
  5. Pay attention to any instructions the dispatcher is giving you and do your best to follow them.

If you are driving, safely pull over the vehicle before texting!

TTY (Teletypewriter)

Maine 9-1-1 public safety calltakers are trained to answer TTY calls as part of the initial NG9-1-1 training. When you call 9-1-1 from a TTY, you are not required to tap the TTY spacebar, but sometimes tapping the spacebar helps calltakers know it is a TTY call and they can help you faster.

Tips for Using a TTY to Request Emergency Services

  1. Dial 911.
  2. Tap the TTY spacebar key for 9-1-1 fast answer.
  3. Wait for 9-1-1 to answer.
  4. Type what help is needed: police, fire, medical.
  5. Type your name and the address where help is needed.
  6. Answer all questions.
  7. Hang up ONLY when told.

Wireless 9-1-1

9-1-1 is the emergency number to call for wireless customers.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone:

  • Know your location. Cell phones cannot give your exact location. Have your address ready, or use landmarks, mile markers or road signs to describe where you are.
  • Cell phones do not always direct you to the proper agency. If this happens, remain patient and wait for the call taker to transfer you.
  • Many cell phones have an emergency 9-1-1 feature on them. Please be aware of this and use it only for emergencies.
  • Cell phones have been known to dial 9-1-1 while in a pocket book or purse. PLEASE lock your keypad to prevent accidental dialing.
  • Know your phone. Even though many of Maine's cellular providers have activated 9-1-1 location technologies, you need to call your carrier and find out if your phone can take advantage of this service.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

Voice over Internet Protocol telephone service, or VoIP, may look and appear to work like a phone, but it connects to the Internet, not a telephone line.

Here are several critical factors to consider regarding the impact of this technology on your emergency call to 9-1-1:

  • Does your VoIP phone provide 9-1-1 access?
    • Check your service provider's website for emergency calling features. Find out if it automatically displays your address at the 9-1-1 center if you should need to call.
    • If it is silent on the issue, it is likely that 9-1-1 is NOT provided.
  • When calling for emergency help, give your location and call back number. Many VoIP services do not provide this information.
  • Call back if you get disconnected.
  • If the power is out, your VoIP service may also be out.
  • If you travel with your VoIP adapter, your phone may not work for making 9-1-1 calls. Call from another phone.