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OUC Statement on Text to 911 - September 6

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

The Office of Unified Communications' (OUC) statement on Text to 911 - September 6.

The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) is committed to providing accessible emergency response services. While we are only one of approximately eight states in the country that offers text to 911 service, a voice call to 911 during an emergency is always preferred. The District accepts TDD/TTY calls option for residents and visitors that are deaf and/or hard of hearing and callers do not have to call a separate TDD number for police, fire, or medical emergencies.

OUC researched the phone number provided and the agency does not have a record of this text received by the DC 911 system. The reply they received is the generic Federal Communications Commission message sent by carriers when they are unable to deliver texts to 911, “Please make a voice call to 911. There is no text service to 911 available at this time.” A bounce back message from OUC would state: “Text to 911 is currently unavailable. Please make a voice call to 911.” With either response, the individual was instructed to make a voice call to 911.