Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen announced the availability of a specialized text service to communicate with 911 call-takers by text.

Text to 911 service now active in Okanagan-Similkameen

This service is called Text with 911 (T9-1-1) and is being delivered in the central and southern interiors.

On Wednesday the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen announced the availability of a specialized text service that allows people who are deaf/deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired to communicate with 911 call-takers by text.

This service is called Text with 911 (T9-1-1) and is being delivered by E-Comm — the emergency communications centre responsible for answering 911 calls in the central and southern interiors — in partnership with local emergency service agencies. The service is available throughout the Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Columbia-Shuswap, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, East Kootenay, Kootenay-Boundary and Squamish-Lillooet regional districts.

(read more: New service allows text)

“T9-1-1 is a vital connection to police, fire and ambulance and enables quick communication between a Deaf caller and emergency services,” said Gordon Rattray, treasurer of the Okanagan Valley Association of the Deaf (OVAD). “In the past deaf people were limited by communication barriers and would have to use phone relay or TTY (telephone typewriter) which would take five or 10 minutes longer. The OVAD is very excited to have T9-1-1 in the interior regional districts and we look forward to helping promote the availability of this service with the DHHSI community. We’re proud of this enhancement to emergency services that E-Comm provides.”

T9-1-1 allows any DHHSI 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 911 in order to establish a voice network connection and initiate the special messaging technology.

“The Regional District Directors are excited about the T9-1-1 launch,” said Mark Pendergraft, RDOS chair. “This is a progressive piece of technology that is being offered to RDOS citizens, visitors and people traveling in our region. We are striving towards all citizens in all communities being able to communicate with emergency services if required.”

When E-Comm receives a 911 call from a DHHSI person who has pre-registered for the service, an alert will trigger at the 911 centre to indicate there is a DHHSI caller on the line. The 911 call-taker will then launch the special messaging system, allowing them to communicate with the caller through a special text session. This will ensure they get the emergency service they need.

 

Just Posted

Work continues to deal with flooding

Increased efforts to mitigate flooding at Sportsmens Bowl and downstream

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Look back to simpler summers

Rotary honourees reminisce about South Okanagan summers

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

B.C. VIEWS: Eliminating efficiency for farm workers

Don’t worry, NDP says, the B.C. economy’s booming

Penticton students tackle dark themes in Oliver

Penticton Secondary School’s theatre program brings to the stage Oliver

Kamloops RCMP respond to report of dead body floating in Thompson River

Body has not been located, searches to continue as river conditions improve

Most Read