We provide enhanced location information to emergency call takers so they can more effectively route calls for emergency assistance. The special Enhanced 911 service—also known as E911—that we provide to public safety answering points does two things. First, it automatically delivers the 911 caller’s telephone number to the call-taker. Second, it enables the call-taker to obtain information to determine the estimated location of the caller within certain geographic parameters and then to dispatch emergency responders who are within or close to those parameters.
E911 works for all GPS-capable phones, including all wireless phones sold by Verizon Wireless since December 31, 2003. Verizon Wireless' Enhanced 911 service works only where Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have upgraded to Enhanced-911 capable equipment or systems. Because wireless phones can react to the environment—from weather conditions to surrounding terrain—the enhanced location information we provide to emergency call takers can’t guarantee a precise location. In some places, public safety call takers still rely only on the caller's descriptions to locate and dispatch help to people in emergency situations.
Be aware that some third party applications available via your smartphone, and devices other than wireless phones that you may use with our network (such as tablets and laptops), may enable you to use other companies’ applications and services to make voice calls. Verizon Wireless does not provide E911 for these calls and you should always read the terms and conditions of service for these products to learn whether you can reach 911 when using them.
Text to 911
Starting in 2012, Verizon Wireless has enabled texting plans to send “911” SMS messages in a few areas in the U.S. where PSAPs are capable of receiving them. Messages are limited to 160 characters. More PSAPs may allow this in the future, but f it may not yet be available in your area. You should only use this option when calling 911 is not an option. Always follow the instructions provided by your state or local government.