Text with 9-1-1 for the DHHSI Community Now Available in Metro Vancouver

OTTAWA – March 18, 2014 – The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) announced today that the Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service for the deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) community in Canada is now available in Metro Vancouver. E-Comm, the emergency communication centre that provides 9-1-1 service to Metro Vancouver and select surrounding areas*, is the first Canadian public safety answering point (PSAP) to introduce T9-1-1.

Members of the DHHSI community in E-Comm’s service area must register with their wireless service provider to access the service. T9-1-1 provides 9-1-1 call centres with the ability to converse with a deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impaired person during an emergency, using text messaging. When a DHHSI person requires 9-1-1 services, they dial 9-1-1 on their cell phone. There is no need for a caller to speak or hear, as the 9-1-1 call taker will normally receive an indicator from registered users that tells them to communicate with the caller via text messaging. The 9-1-1 call taker then initiates text messaging with the caller to address the emergency.

As part of today’s announcement, CWTA is also pleased to announce that all members of the DHHSI community across Canada can start to register for the service, even though the service is not yet available nation-wide. National registration allows those to utilize the service ONLY when they are within a specific region that has deployed T9-1-1. Members of the DHHSI community are encouraged to visit www.textwith911.ca to learn more about T9-1-1, including information about how to register with their service provider. The Web site will also offer information about when T9-1-1 becomes available in other areas of the country.

"On behalf of Canada’s wireless industry, I want to commend E-Comm for being the first emergency centre to implement Text with 9-1-1," said CWTA President & CEO Bernard Lord. "This service is truly critical to those within the DHHSI community in Canada, and I look forward to the continued roll-out of the service across the country in the months ahead."

The unique Canadian Text with 9-1-1 service was developed by the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG), comprised of members from Emergency Services, telecommunications service providers, vendors and other stakeholders, including CWTA. T9-1-1 was trialed with volunteers from the DHHSI community in the spring and summer of 2012 in Vancouver, Toronto, Peel Region and Montreal.

The service will only be available to those in the DHHSI community who register their cell phones for the service through their wireless carrier. Voice calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person that is not deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. Text messages sent directly to the digits "9-1-1" do not reach emergency services. Text with 9-1-1 for the public at large is expected to be deployed at a later date.

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA)

CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents cellular, PCS, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless and mobile satellite carriers as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry. Visit www.cwta.ca for more information.

*E-Comm 9-1-1 Call Area:

Metro Vancouver – Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Electoral Area A (University of BC, University Endowment Lands, Barnston Island), Howe Sound Communities (Ocean Point, Strachan Point, Montizambert Wynd, Bowyer Island and Passage Island), Indian Arm/Pitt Lake Communities (Boulder Island, Carraholly Point, Northern Portion of Indian Arm and West side of Pitt Lake), Langley (City and Township), Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver (District and City), Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver and White Rock.

Squamish Lillooet Regional District South – Electoral Area C (Pemberton Meadows, Mt. Currie, D’Arcy Corridor, Whistler-Pemberton Corridor), Electoral Area D (Furry Creek, Brittania, Porteau, Upper Squamish, Upper Cheakamus, Ring Creek, Pinecrest/Black Tusk Village), Pemberton, Squamish and Whistler.

Sunshine Coast Regional District – Egmont, Elphinstone, Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour, Roberts Creek, Sechelt, and West Howe Sound.

Media information:

Ashlee Smith
613-233-4888 ext. 227
asmith@cwta.ca

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