Hawaii now accepting text messages to 911 in emergencies

Hawaii now accepting text messages to 911 in emergencies
Published: Oct. 13, 2016 at 6:04 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 at 9:04 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is now one of only a few states in the nation that allows people to contact 911 through a text message.

Gov. David Ige on Thursday announced the enhanced 911 service statewide.

"While voice calls are always best, text-to-911 service provides practical mobile emergency communications for our deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired communities," he said.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said the new program will save lives.

"The text-to-911 service is a revolution in how we alert the authorities to emergent, life-or-death situations that do not allow for a caller to speak to a dispatcher, such as with home invasions, domestic violence cases, or active shooter scenarios," she said.

Hawaii is the seventh state to launch a text program for 911 emergencies, joining New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Indiana, New Jersey and North Dakota.


  • Text-to-911 supports plain text and SMS messages
  • Currently limited to 160 characters per text
  • Pictures, videos and emojis cannot be processed
  • User must have active wireless service that includes a text or data plan
  • Device's location service must be turned on
  • May be unavailable if the phone is roaming or outside the provider's coverage area

Click here for more information.

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