You can now Text 9-1-1 in an Emergency

The Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services has officially begun accepting text-to-911 service for the county. This new service is available for all wireless customers and is designed to provide another way for residents to reach emergency services during an emergency situation.

While voice calls to 911 are still the best and fastest way to contact 911, texting services will be available for those who cannot call. This includes individuals of different abilities who may be deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired. Additionally, texting may be necessary in situations where speaking out loud could put the caller in danger.

"We've been working toward making this a reality for quite some time now," said Robert Lipton, Commissioner of the Putnam County Bureau Emergency Services. "The introduction of Text-to-911 services is a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance public safety in Putnam County."

"Text-to-911 services can be a lifesaver for those who cannot afford to make a voice call during an emergency. We are thrilled to be able to offer this service to all our residents," said Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne. "This service is also another way Putnam County is going to ThinkDIFFERENTLY about the way we interact with and serve those individuals with disabilities."

"The safety and well-being of our residents is always our top priority, and this service will help ensure that we can respond quickly and effectively in emergency situations," said Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville. "Thank you to the County Executive and our partners at the Bureau of Emergency Services for making this happen."

Residents are advised to use the Text-to-911 service, follow these simple steps:

  • Do not text and drive
  • In the first text message, send the location and type of emergency
  • Use simple words, and do not use abbreviations or slang
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the dispatcher

It is important to remember that Text-to-911 services are only for emergencies. Abuse of this service could result in charges being filed against the caller.

Additionally, residents must be aware that there will be challenges associated with using Text-to-911 services. For instance, as with all text messages, messages may take longer to receive or may not be received at all, depending on cell service and coverage. Text-to-911 will not function in group texts. If an individual does not receive a text response from 911, please call 911 instead.

Putnam County residents are reminded that Text-to-911 services are not available everywhere in New York and the U.S.

Overall, the introduction of Text-to-911 services in Putnam County is a significant step forward in ensuring the safety of the community.

ThinkDIFFERENTLY is a call to action to change the way our communities, governments, businesses, and individuals think about and interact with those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.