Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Texting to 911 system will arrive by April 1

Brandon expects to launch a text-to-911 service this spring.

CP Enlarge Image

Brandon expects to launch a text-to-911 service this spring.

Manitoba will be one of the first regions across Canada to launch the Text to 911 initiative for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community.

It was originally slated to roll out in March. However, Ross Robinson, director of emergency communications with the City of Brandon, says due to industry delays, it is about a month behind. He expects it to be up and running by April 1.

"(The delay) is not specific to our area," he said. "It has got to do with the technological upgrades that … have yet to be completed."

Other regions in the country are still a year or two away from T911.

The nationwide T911 initiative was sparked by a Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decision early last year.

Brandon’s E911 dispatch centre, which takes calls from all over Manitoba except Winnipeg, will launch the initiative in conjunction with Winnipeg emergency services.

A deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired person (DHHSI), will be able to text their emergency details to the dispatcher, following the initial voice call to 911.

The operator will be notified by the call screen that the user needs to communicate via text message. A voice call will always be maintained because the operator must be able to hear the noises in the background of the call.

"The DHHSI community have been basically unable to connect with 911, unless they’re at home where their TTY (teletype) is," Robinson said. "And we haven’t received a TTY call for years. So what this does, it gives them the same access to first responders in an emergency, like the rest of the community."

A DHHSI person wanting the ability to use the service must register for it with their wireless service provider.

The CRTC’s decision came after regional tests in Vancouver, Toronto, Peel region in southern Ontario, and Montreal, while some regions in the U.S. already have similar services installed.

Robinson estimates 350 Manitobans will need the 911 text-messaging service.

Natalie Mulaire, chief operating officer with the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities, said Text to 911 will be a "very welcomed service" to the DHHSI community.

"Certainly our organization would be supportive of it," she said. "We’d want to make sure that it proceeds and it is done so in a way that people can access it fairly easily though. If they qualify for it they should be able to access it without too much complication or too many barriers."

For more information on the initiative visit textwith911.ca, a website launched by the Canadian Wireless Telecommuniciations Association.

» jaustin@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 4, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Manitoba will be one of the first regions across Canada to launch the Text to 911 initiative for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community.

It was originally slated to roll out in March. However, Ross Robinson, director of emergency communications with the City of Brandon, says due to industry delays, it is about a month behind. He expects it to be up and running by April 1.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

Manitoba will be one of the first regions across Canada to launch the Text to 911 initiative for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community.

It was originally slated to roll out in March. However, Ross Robinson, director of emergency communications with the City of Brandon, says due to industry delays, it is about a month behind. He expects it to be up and running by April 1.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media