Airport establishes public safety enhancement for situations where it is not possible to call 911
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) today announced Text-to-911 service for anyone at the Airport to send a text message to reach SFO 911 dispatchers from a mobile phone or smart device when it is not possible to call 911. The new emergency service feature will go live on Monday, June 1, 2020.
“With the addition of Text-to-911, we are further elevating our emergency response capabilities at SFO,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “We are committed to the safety and security of all passengers and employees, and this enhancement to SFO’s 911 system provides another life-saving option for people in emergency situations anywhere in the Airport when calling 911 is not possible.”
SFO’s Text-to-911 service is intended primarily for use in three emergency scenarios:
- When an individual is in a situation where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911;
- When an individual has a speech or hearing disability; and
- When a medical emergency arises that renders the individual incapable of speaking.
In general, SFO encourages people with police, fire or medical emergencies to call 911 if they can and text 9-1-1 if they cannot. SFO’s 911 system is now configured to receive text message requests for 911 services, and SFO Communications is trained to receive emergency calls and text messages from their workstations.
When texting 9-1-1, the initial message should be short and include the approximate location of the emergency at SFO. The next step is to answer the dispatcher’s questions and follow the instructions of the public safety dispatcher. People are advised to keep responses and short and simple. Currently, SFO’s Text-to-911 service is only available in English and is not yet capable of receiving photos and videos.