Text with 911 is now available for DHHSI community members in North Bay and Callander

Text with 911 is now available for DHHSI community members in North Bay and Callander

The North Bay Police Service is pleased to announce that its 911 Communications Centre is now prepared to receive Text with 911 (T911) emergency calls for service from deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired (DHHSI) community members who are in the North Bay and Callander 911 service area.

“The Text with 911 service we are announcing today for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired community members is the beginning of what the future holds for our 911 Communications Centre,” said Chief Shawn Devine, North Bay Police Service. “We are preparing for what we call Next Generation 911. In the future, NG911 will allow voice messages, photos, videos and text messages to flow seamlessly from the public, through our 911 network, and on to emergency responders.”

To use this service, deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired community members:

  1. Must have a compatible T911 cell phone that includes the ability to send and receive text messages (Information on cell phones that meet T911 requirements are available on your wireless service provider’s website.); and
  2. Must register for T911 with a wireless service provider.

T911 is only available to DHHSI community members. Persons who are not deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired must call 911 for emergency police, fire and ambulance service. For a complete list of T911 service availability in Canada, visit http://textwith911.ca/service-availability.

How to make a T911 Call

  • Unlock the cell phone keypad if it is locked. Some cell phones do not allow receiving and/or sending text messages if the keypad is locked, even though they allow a user to dial 911. “Unlocking” means entering your personal password or pressing an unlock button on the phone.
  • Dial 911 on your cell phone to place an emergency voice call.
  • Monitor the cell phone display to ensure that the call is connected. Shortly after the call is connected, you should receive an initial text message from the 911 call centre.
  • The number you will see on your cell phone will have 13 digits and will begin with 555911.
  • Once the initial text message is received, you should reply to this text message by text and provide the 911 call taker with the information that they are requesting, such as the nature of the emergency and your location. Keep your text messages brief and concise.
  • You should keep the 911 voice call connected during the entire text messaging session if possible. This will permit the 911 call taker to hear any background noises that can be helpful to assess the emergency, and will provide enhanced 911 functions.
  • You will know that the T911 session has been concluded when you receive the message “End of 911 Call”.
  • After receiving the “End of 911 Call” message, if you need to further communicate with the 911 call centre, you will need to initiate a new text session by dialing 911 to re-establish contact with the 911 call centre and communicate again by replying to the text message.

Background
The NBPS’s 911 Communications Centre operates as a primary Public Safety Answering Point for emergency services for North Bay and Callander. In 2013, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission mandated that Canadian 911 service providers make 911 services accessible to the DHHSI community. Since 2014, the NBPS has been working with its 911 service provider, Bell Canada, to transition its analog service to an Internet Protocol (IP) network. The NBPS contracted Komutel Solutions to upgrade its existing hardware and software in order to be Next Generation 911 compliant.