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City of Maricopa says to call or text 911, even if you have no service

All wireless phones, regardless of carrier, can always call 9-1-1—sometimes even if your phone...
All wireless phones, regardless of carrier, can always call 9-1-1—sometimes even if your phone shows no signal bars.(Pixabay)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 3:38 PM MST
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MARICOPA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The City of Maricopa wants you to know what to do if you don’t have cell service but need to call 911. The FCC requires all wireless providers to transfer 911 calls to an emergency call center, regardless of whether the caller subscribes to the provider’s service. All wireless phones, regardless of carrier, can always call 911—sometimes even if your phone shows no signal bars. City officials want people to know in light of what happened earlier this month, when some Verizon customers in Arizona lost cell service.

If the emergency call center in Maricopa has an outage, all calls will be rerouted to another call center with service. For example, the City of Maricopa’s calls will be transferred to Chandler’s call center. Anyone in Pinal County trying to reach 911 can text instead of calling in. Of course, voice calls still are the fastest and most informative for operators.

How to Text 911:

  • Enter the numbers ‘911′ in the ‘To’ field on your phone
  • ALWAYS provide your location and the nature of your emergency in your original text
  • ‘Send’ the message.
  • Answer any questions and follow any instructions provided to you by the 911 operator.
  • Reply as fast as possible.
  • Use simple words. No abbreviations!

Things to Know:

  • Voice calls are ALWAYS the best option for reaching 911.
  • Texting is not available from deactivated cell phones, but you can still call 911 from them.
  • A Text-to-911 message may take too long to get, may be sent out of order, or not received
  • Text-to-911 isn’t available if your phone is in ‘roaming’ status.
  • You will receive a ‘bounce back’ message if texting is not available.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911.
  • Do not text and drive!