Can you Email 911? Is it possible, and what to expect?


Today’s bevy of contact possibilities means that some might contact 911 via email. People with disabilities or who are in a situation where they cannot talk to the operator could need alternative methods to contact emergency services. So can you email 911?

You can email 911, but you will not get the same response time from EMS, Fire, and Police. Additionally, by email, you open yourself up to several system flaws that require communication with the operator, often in life or death situations.

Contacting 911 by email is not a good idea. However, the personal contact between the caller and the operator has the potential to save lives and mitigate any type of disaster. So read on and learn all the ins and outs of emailing 911!

Can you Contact 911 by Email?

It is possible to contact 911 by email. Each area with a 911 service should have an email, physical locations, and addresses.

These are good for regular contact, but leaning on them during a crisis could be dangerous for you and the EMS workers.

Sticking with traditional methods, like calling, will be your best bet and produce the best results.

The Best Ways to Contact 911

People are becoming less social. They can contact each other in several ways without looking at them in the eye or hearing their voice.

This makes contact with a voice an anxious position for some people and could force them to panic at a time when cool heads should prevail.

The best ways to contact 911 are:

  • Voice – The best way to contact 911 is by voice call. You can use your phone or VOIP. By calling them and talking, you can answer the operator’s questions and get tips to stabilize the victim. Voice is the best way to contact emergency services. While you could be scared or injured, calling gives you the best chance for survival.
  • Video Call – If you have the option to use FaceTime or Skype to contact 911, it is your second best bet. While some services lean on the old-school information screen, some have used a hybrid that allows the operator to talk with the person on a video call. I wrote an entire article on how to FaceTime 911, you can check it out by clicking the link.

If you look at it, there is a much better chance of your emergency being handled by a voice call. Today as text dominates our social lives, the population craves the communication they use most often.

By texting, you have a greater chance of being helped by the police and not ending up in a helpless situation.

The Worst Ways to Contact 911

Contacting 911 is a critical process that requires lots of information to be processed in a short period. By talking over voice, the operator can get an idea of what type of emergency services you need and lock up any details that they might need to know before getting on-site.

The worst ways to get into contact with 911 are:

  • Email – By contacting 911 by email, you open yourself to holes in information and a lack of awareness of medical and police services. When police enter an area where there are casualties, they need all information they can obtain so they don’t mistake someone for a perpetrator.
  • Text – Just like email, sending for EMS with text is a terrible mistake. If the 911 service accepts texts, they must do several follow-up interactions to get all the information. These extra texts take time to compose and could be the difference between life and death.
  • Photo – You might not believe it, but some folks have tried to email/text photos to 911. This seems like something out of MAD magazine, but it is true. Unfortunately, using images does not give EMS any necessary information to help and could only create more questions.

Bad ways of contacting the authorities could be deadly. It is understood that there are times when you could only be able to communicate with a text-based system.

By using a text system, you cut the chances of giving the needed information to your rescuers.

The Most Effective Way to Contact 911

Calling 911 by phone is the most effective way to get help in an emergency. Contacting 911 could happen when you have lost your senses and are in panic mode.

When you panic, you lose the ability to concentrate on the details. I also wrote a comprehensive guide on what to say when you call 911. Check it out and make sure you’re prepared if/when you need to call.

In addition, emergencies are always time sensitive and add another level of tension that could force you to forget details that make your situation worse.

A few reasons that calling 911 is your best option are:

  • Information – Talking is best to give the EMS people all your data. They are going to ask several questions that must have accurate answers. You can respond immediately and get your help much faster using your voice.
  • Speed – In a crisis, every second counts. Talking is much faster than using text or email. With the speed of your conversation, you give them all your info at a rate that allows them to get help on the road to you.
  • Calming – Another reason it is good to call 911 is that the operator can help to calm you down. By talking with another person and getting reassurance, you will start to process the event in your mind. Once it reaches a level of comfort, you can speak without the circumstances hampering you.

Calling 911 is a high-pressure situation that could mean the difference between life and death. Using a voice call gives the authorities a much better chance to get the help you need promptly.

Speed is vital in an emergency; using the voice line could save the day.

Calling 911 is imperative to your emergency. However, if you choose text or email, there will be loads of wasted time, and that waste could end up killing someone.

Make the intelligent decision to call and save lives by giving the information the operator needs. The 911 call is all about the information you can give.

By emailing, you leave many details to chance and hamper the chances of your rescue call being effective. Emailing 911 is an option, but your best bet is to call.

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