In an emergency, we always want you to call 9-1-1, but for those instances when you’re unable to call, you can now send a text to our Emergency Communications Center (9-1-1 center). 

Text-to-911 Frequently Asked Questions


The new service allows people who are unable to speak to reach 9-1-1 and request emergency services. This might include those who are:

  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Unable to speak
  • In a situation where it’s unsafe to speak


Some of our neighboring jurisdictions also are in various stages of implementing the capability.  In addition to Arlington,  it is also available in:

  • Fairfax County, VA
  • Loudoun County, VA
  • Alexandria, VA.
  • Frederick County, MD
  • Prince George’s County, MD

NCR Text to 9-1-1 Coverage map (Fairfax County)

Text to 9-1-1 availability list (FCC)


  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” or “Recipient” field.
  • The first text should include the location of the emergency, and ask for police, fire or ambulance.
  • Answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call-taker.
  • Text in simple words – no abbreviations or slang.
  • Keep text messages short.