Link to Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management's Twitter feedLink to Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management's Facebook pageLink to Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management's BlogLink to the Ready Iowa website Podcasts pageLink to the HSEMD YouTube channel

911

 

The Code of Iowa, Chapter 34A, states that the director of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management shall appoint a program manager for the 911 program in Iowa. The program manager shall act under the supervisory control of the HSEMD director and in consultation with the 911 Communications Council.

 

In Iowa, 911 phone service for land and wireless phones is provided for by the Code of Iowa, Chapter 34A, and the Iowa Administrative Code, Section 605, Chapter 10.

 

All 99 Iowa counties have the capability of accepting wireless enchanced 911 Phase II service, which provides the call taker at the public safety answering point with latitude/longitude coordinates so they can more readily locate the person who has placed the 911 call.

Text-to-911

Text-to-911 logo: Call if you can, text if you can'tAs of 2017, six mobile phone service providers have taken the necessary steps to allow you to text 911 on your mobile phone in Iowa: AT&T, i-Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. As the equipment in each 911 call center is adjusted to enable the receipt of texts, customers of these carriers can use the feature within a matter of days.

 

As of Oct. 12, 2017, the following 88 counties currently have 911 call centers capable of receiving text messages: Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Kossuth, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Lyon, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Mills, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscatine, O'Brien, Osceola, Page, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Sioux, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Winneshiek, Woodbury, Worth, and Wright. The 11 counties where call centers are still not Text-to-911 capable are: Henry, Lee, Marion, Monona, Plymouth, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Scott, Van Buren, Webster, and Winnebago.

Text-to-911: Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • How do I know if I'm able to text 911?
    As of 2017, six mobile service providers have taken the necessary steps to allow you to text 911 on your mobile phone in Iowa: AT&T, i-Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. As the equipment in each 911 call center is adjusted to enable the receipt of texts, customers of these carriers can use the feature within a matter of days.
  • Why isn't Text-to-911 available everywhere in the U.S.?
    Text-to-911 is a new service. As 911 call centers update their systems, it is likely to become available in more places, through more providers.
  • Why would I want to use Text-to-911?
    Using Text-to-911 in an emergency might be helpful if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, or if making a voice call to 911 might be dangerous or not possible. However, if you are able to make a voice call to 911 and it is safe to do so, you should call instead of sending a text. Voice calls are usually the fastest, most efficient way to reach emergency help.
  • If I send a text to 911, will the 911 center automatically know my location?
    No. Texting 911 is different than making a voice call. When you call 911 from a mobile phone, the call center will usually receive your phone number and your approximate location automatically. But if you text 911, the call taker may not receive your phone number or location. So regardless if you text or call 911, it's best to provide a correct address or location as quickly as possible.
  • Do I need to have a texting plan to send a text message to 911?
    Yes. While all wireless phones have the capability to dial 911 regardless if that phone is active on a network, you can only send a text to 911 if you use a cell phone that has an active texting plan. Your mobile carrier’s regular texting rates will apply.
  • How do I send a text to 911?
    Simply type "911" in the "To" field of a new text message. Be sure to provide your location as soon as possible, along with a short description of the emergency. Use simple words and no abbreviations. Do not try to text while driving. Do not try to send a text to 911 that is part of a group text.
  • Can I send the 911 operator a photo or video?
    No. At this time, 911 call centers are not equipped to accept photos or videos attached to a text message. In addition, you shouldn't try to send emojis to 911.
  • What if I try to send a text to 911 where Text-to-911 isn't available?
    If you attempt to send a text to 911 where that service is not available or your phone is in "roaming" status, you should receive a "bounce-back" message informing you that the service is unavailable.
  • Can I try to send a text to 911 to see if Text-to-911 is available in my area?
    Calling 911 when there is no emergency is against the law. The same applies to texting 911. Don't "test" it to see if it works. You could tie up resources and prevent someone from receiving the help they need.

End of Frequently Asked Questions

Back to top

 

 

Current Text-to-911 Availability in Iowa

Map of Iowa counties where Text-to-911 service is available for customers of AT&T, i-Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Click to access a PDF of this map.

Contact information and other links

Local 911 service boards may now apply for grant funding for fiscal year 2018

 

 

Click on the tabs for additional information.

Iowa 911 Communications Council Member Directory

 

 

IOWA 911 COMMUNICATION COUNCIL MEMBER DIRECTORY

Mike Bryant

Iowa Association of Professional Fire Fighters

(Ames Fire Department)

James Chambers

Iowa Telephone Association >15,000 customers

(CenturyLink- Des Moines)

Jack DeAngelo

Iowa Telephone Association <15,000 customers

(Sully Telephone Association)

Robert Dehnert

Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association

(West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services)

Bernardo Granwehr

Auditor of State, Ex-Officio Member

George Griffith

Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police and Peace Officers
(Urbandale Police Department)

Sally Hall

Iowa Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials

(Iowa County Sheriff)

Lawrence Hartpence

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

(Westcom Communications Center)

Kirk Hundertmark

Iowa Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association

Gerard Meyers

Iowa Department of Public Safety

Mark Murphy

Iowa Firefighters Association

(Dubuque County 911)

Rob Rotter

Iowa State Sheriffs and Deputies Association

(Iowa County Sheriff)

Joe Sargent

Personal Communications Services companies

(Iowa Wireless Services - West Des Moines)

Robert Seivert
(VICE CHAIR & Interim CHAIR)

Iowa Emergency Management Association

(Shelby County Emergency Management)

Steve Zimmer

Cellular Providers

(US Cellular)

PDF of Member Directory

 

For all PDF documents: Save by going to File-> Save as

THIS WILL NOT WORK IF YOU ARE USING GOOGLE CHROME

 

Iowa 911 Communications Council Meetings

 

2017 Meetings

Click here to go to the Iowa E-911 Communications Council YouTube channel

Council meetings are now on YouTube!

Council meetings are held at 9 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month, at the West Des Moines City Hall, 4200 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines (unless otherwise noted). Upcoming meeting dates:

  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 14

 

Want to be notified about upcoming Iowa 911 Communications Council meetings? Click here and send a blank email to this email address. (You will be added to our press release distribution list.)

 

Service Provider Documents

 

For all PDF forms: Save after completing by going to File-> Save as

THIS WILL NOT WORK IF YOU ARE USING GOOGLE CHROME

 

911 Training: Oct. 2, 2017 - NEW

 

Statewide 911 Program Training

 

For all PDF documents: Save by going to File-> Save as

THIS WILL NOT WORK IF YOU ARE USING GOOGLE CHROME