The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) directive to begin transmitting Text with 9-1-1 calls as of March 18, 2014 has prompted action by several agencies. E-Comm (the 9-1-1 answer point serving Metro Vancouver and other parts of southwest British Columbia) launched Canada’s first Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service for members of the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and Speech Impaired (DHHSI) community, in conjunction with its emergency-service partners. Text with 9-1-1 service is now available to people who are hearing or speech impaired in Metro Vancouver and select surrounding area.
The Toronto Police Service (TPS) announced that effective March 18, members of the DHHSI community will be able to register their cell phones with their wireless service providers in preparation for texting with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1). However, the TPS cautioned that voice-calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. On March 14, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a letter calling on the CRTC to either reverse the decision or discourage the practice of sending Text with 9-1-1 calls on legacy 9-1-1 networks, citing OPP and many PSAPs across Canada are not ready. Text with 9-1-1 service will become available in other parts of the country as regional emergency call centres implement this new feature.
Read more on this and upcoming CITIG’s Interoperability Workshops at www.citig.ca.