Skip to main content

Cellular Phones & 9-1-1

You can dial 9-1-1 from a cellular phone; however due to the nature of cellular technologies your call may be routed differently than traditional phones. Depending on the service strength your call may be “bounced” to a 9-1-1 Center outside Dutchess County.  Cellular phones with Global Positioning System (GPS) chips will assist the 9-1-1 Dispatcher in determining your general location.

In the meantime please consider the following:

  1. Your cellular phone must be in a cellular coverage area in order for you to reach a 9-1-1 center.
  2. If you are disconnected during your call from a cellular phone or you lose service and cannot return the call, if possible, try to locate the nearest land-line phone and dial 9-1-1.
  3. Keep aware of landmarks around you.  This will assist the dispatchers in getting help to you quicker.

Make sure your telephone is GPS equipped. If you are unsure, contact your cellular provider.

Texting 9-1-1

It is now possible to send a text message to 9-1-1.  Texting during an emergency could be helpful if you are hearing impaired, have a speech disability, or if a voice call might otherwise be dangerous or impossible.

Please note: If you can make a voice call to 9-1-1, and if it is safe to do so, you should always call 9-1-1 instead.  A voice call to 9-1-1 enables the dispatcher to get important information, such as your phone number and approximate location, automatically.  When you text 9-1-1 from a wireless phone, in most cases, the dispatcher will not get this information.

If you do send a text message to 9-1-1, it is important to give an accurate address or location quickly if you can.