Text to 9-1-1 now available at NAU

A female dispatcher wearing a headset sits at a computer.

Northern Arizona University, in partnership with the Flagstaff Police Department and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, is proud to announce that Text to 9-1-1 is now available to our community.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus will now be able to send text messages to 9-1-1 when making a call is not possible. Texts to 9-1-1 from anywhere on the NAU campus in Flagstaff will then be routed to the NAU Police Department dispatch center.

“Texting 9-1-1 is one more way we can help keep our community safe,” said President Rita Hartung Cheng. “It is a key part of creating and maintaining a culture of safety on our campus and our learning environment.”

This service has many benefits for the NAU community.  It can now support our deaf or hearing impaired community, and will help anyone in a situation where they may not be able or is dangerous to talk.

When should you Text to 9-1-1

  • You are hearing impaired.
  • You are speech impaired.
  • Making a voice call places you in a dangerous situation.
  • You have tried to call 9-1-1, but can’t get phone reception.

Things to remember about Text to 9-1-1

  • Always provide your exact location and the nature of the emergency.
  • Remember to silence your phone if you are in a dangerous situation.
  • Avoid using slang, social media jargon or abbreviations.
  • Do not send photos, emojis or videos.
  • Do not send a group text.

Texting Service Limitations

Response time is critical during an emergency. Text to 9-1-1 may increase the emergency response in some situations, but it does have service limitations.

While Text to 9-1-1 is available in Coconino County, it is not a universal service and is not available in all areas. If you try Text to 9-1-1 and the service is not available, you will receive a bounceback message advising you to make a voice call to 9-1-1.

Insufficient access to wireless or cellular service may cause the text message to be delayed or not received by the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Text messaging apps such as WhatsApp or other social media messenger apps may not support Text to 9-1-1.

Call when you can, text when you can’t.