I have to say, I’m a bit surprised this wasn’t a thing already, but KenCom (the agency that dispatches fire, police and ambulance calls in Kendall County) can now receive, and even reply to, emergency 911 messages!

That’s a HUGE step forward. It now allows people in emergency scenarios where dialing a phone and speaking out loud isn’t a good option. It’s also an important step for those with speech or hearing impairments or those in emergency situations that renders them incapable of speech.

Text-to-911 instructions:

  • Enter “911” in the “To” or “Recipient” field
  • The first text to 911 should be brief and contain the exact location of the emergency and the type of service needed such as police, fire or ambulance.
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations or slang.
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

A few things to know if you need to text 911:

  • As with all text messages, message delivery may be delayed, fail or be delivered out of sequence.
  • If Text to 911 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a reply message indicating that Text to 911 is not available and to contact 911 by another means.
  • Photos, videos and emojis cannot be sent to 911 at this time.
  • Text-to-911 can only include the sender and 911. Do not include multiple recipients in your text message to 911 or the message will not be delivered.

Please remember that texting should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 911. Call when you can, text when you can’t.

KenCom serves the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office, the police departments of the Village of Oswego, United City of Yorkville, City of Plano and Village of Montgomery, and the fire protection districts of Oswego, Bristol Kendall, Little Rock-Fox, Newark, Lisbon-Seward, Sandwich, Montgomery-Countryside and Aurora Township.