City of Waynesboro Emergency Communications Center Adds Text-2-911 Feature

The City of Waynesboro Emergency Communications Center has added the capability of receiving 911 Emergency Calls by Text.

The City of Waynesboro Emergency Communications Center has added the capability of receiving 911 Emergency Calls by Text. Commonly referred to as Text-2-911, this technology allows anyone with a text capable cell phone to text 911 to report an emergency when making a voice call is not possible. This is accomplished by entering 911 in the To: box in your message app on your cell phone, typing your messaging, and tapping send. Once the call is received the 911 dispatcher can text with you. Pictures can be sent if they are available and if your carrier allows that feature for Text-2-911. Not all carriers do. The Text-2-911 feature is enabled for all major carriers, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and their subsidiaries on cell towers that provide service in the City of Waynesboro. If you are in an area where Text-2-911 is not available you will receive a bounce back message indicating  that the service is not available in your current location and to make a voice call to 911. Text-2-911 also provides the dispatcher with your cell phone number and your location.

Feature is enabled for all major carriers, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and their subsidiaries on cell towers that provide service in the City of Waynesboro.

The preferred method for contacting 911 in an emergency is to dial 911 and talk with the dispatcher whenever possible. It allows for faster processing and more detailed information sharing. In situations where a caller is unable to talk such as a domestic violence situation or if the caller is hearing impaired, text will be available. This new feature is very beneficial for the hearing impaired community as it will eliminate the need for those callers to go through the relay center or to be at home or work and use a landline phone with a TTY device to make a call.

The preferred method for contacting 911 in an emergency is to dial 911.

The National Emergency Number Association or NENA has developed the following slogan for Text-2-911 

“9-1-1: Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t”


Please remember – Never Text and Drive – it’s a danger to you and others and it’s against the law.


Waynesboro is currently using the web based Text-2-911 solution from Intrado, a provider of 911 technologies and support. In early 2021 the City will be converting it’s 911 call handling system to Next Generation 911 and the Text-2-911 solution will be integrated in the system. That upgrade is being provided through a grant from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s 911 Services Board.