Text to 911

If you cannot call 911, you can now send a text message to 911 for emergency assistance within Chesterfield County and the surrounding jurisdictions, including; Hanover and Henrico counties and the cities of Richmond and Colonial Heights.

NOTE: Text-to-911 service may not available in all areas of Virginia or the United States.


Using a phone to call 911 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help. Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a life-threatening emergency.

Text-to-911 is intended primarily for use in specific emergency scenarios

  • For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or unable to speak;
  • And for a person(s) who is unable to make a voice call due to safety or a medical emergency.  For example, a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech, or when an individual is not in a safe situation to place a call to 911.


  • Call if you can, text if you can’t
  • Send a text message to 911 if you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, can’t speak, or it is not safe for you to speak
  • Provide the exact location of the emergency in the text message
  • If you do not receive a reply by text or if you receive a reply that texting is not available, call 911

Do Not

  • Do not text and drive
  • Do not send photos or videos to 911
  • Do not copy others on the message to 911.

Text-to-911 cannot include more than one person in the message 

When using Text-to-911

  • Provide location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message
  • Text abbreviations, or slang, should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
  • Text messages sent to 911 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages.
  • Texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire, or emergency medical services.

For addition information view the Richmond Capital Region Text-to-911 PSA video and visit the FCC’s website.