Text to 911 service is coming to Orillia next week. It starts August 1 for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. Those eligible will have to register with their wireless service provider allowing them to call 911 during an emergency and converse with a 911 call-taker by text message. A special application allows the 9-1-1 call-taker to recognize the call as coming from a registered cell phone. “This is a step in the right direction towards inclusion and safety for all residents of Orillia and our surrounding communities,” said Fire Chief Ralph Dominelli. “I encourage all those who would benefit from this free service to register or contact the Orillia Fire Department for more information.” It is important to note:
- To be eligible to use this service, members of the DHHSI community must register with their wireless service provider.
- DHHSI persons must be aware that they can only access T9-1-1 services from their T9-1-1 registered cell phone and only in parts of Canada where the service has been deployed.
- In the event of an emergency, the T9-1-1 registered user must dial 9-1-1 on their cell phone, just like they were making a voice call. Even if the caller can’t speak, the 9-1-1 call taker should automatically receive an indicator that advises them to communicate with the caller via text messaging.
- DHHSI callers should only call 9-1-1 for emergencies.
- Voice calling remains the best and most effective way to access 9-1-1 services for a person that is not Deaf, Deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment.
For additional information, including how to register your cell phone for T911 service, visit Textwith911.ca.