9-1-1 text for speech and hearing impaired people now available in Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

9-1-1 text for speech and hearing impaired people now available in Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Emergency call service now available for speech and hearing impaired

Text with 9-1-1 now available for hearing and speech impaired people across B.C. including the regional district.

It’s hard to imagine being in a emergency situation and not being able to talk it through with a 9-1-1 operator.

That scenario changed last week for certain hearing and speech impaired people across the province. They can now communicate via a specialized text service with the 9-1-1 emergency dispatch centre. Call information will be relayed to local dispatch in nine B.C. central and interior regional districts, including the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB).

“It’s a major upgrade on the dispatch end to be able to provide this type of service,” says Dan Derby, RDKB deputy regional fire chief/emergency program coordinator. “It’s through our partnership with E-Comm that we’ve been able to do it.”

The service is called Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) and is delivered by E-Comm, the emergency communications centre responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls in the central and southern interiors, in partnership with local emergency service agencies. Besides the Kootenay-Boundary, the service is available throughout the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Columbia-Shuswap, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, East Kootenay, and Squamish-Lillooet regional districts.

T9-1-1 allows any DHHSI (Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing or Speech Impaired) person who has pre-registered their cellphone with their wireless carrier to communicate with police, fire and ambulance call-takers via text during an emergency.

Callers must first place a voice call to 9-1-1 in order to establish a voice network connection and initiate the special messaging technology.

“The Lower Mainland has had this service for a couple of years, and the amount of calls they have received is approximately 30 out of hundreds of thousands of calls,” Derby explained. “So the chances of someone using it are limited, but should someone fit the criteria they can register to use it,” he added. “It’s a setting on the phone they will be typing into their phone and the dispatcher will be texting them back, it’s a two-way typed conversation with an emergency operator.”

When E-Comm receives a 9-1-1 call from a DHHSI person pre-registered for the service, an alert will trigger at the 9-1-1 centre to indicate there is a DHHSI caller on the line. The 9-1-1 operator will then launch the special messaging system, allowing them to communicate with the caller through a special text session.

“Being able to communicate with 9-1-1 using this technology allows for greater access to important 9-1-1 lifelines in the event of an emergency,” said David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO in a Wednesday news release. “E-Comm is proud to be able to offer this enhanced level of service to our partners in the central and southern interior of B.C.”

The service is only available to the DHHSI community. Voice calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing or Speech Impaired. Text messages sent directly to the digits “9-1-1” do not reach emergency services anywhere in Canada. Text with 9-1-1 for the public-at-large is anticipated in the future as the nationwide 9-1-1 infrastructure evolves.

 

Just Posted

Work has begun on the $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp. File photo
Work begins on Slocan Valley fibre-optic line

The $10-million, 120-kilometre fibre-optic line runs from Playmor Junction to north of Nakusp

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

A B.C. police officer shows an approved roadside screening device. Photo: Saanich News file
Woman caught passed out behind the wheel in Trail

Police located the 38-year old in her parked but still running car, and had to rouse her awake.

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read