Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

Specialized 9-1-1 text service for deaf and speech-impaired now available in RDKB

The RDKB is one of nine districts in the central and southern interior of BC to offer a 9-1-1 text service for the deaf and speech impaired.

  • Sep. 23, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Today the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, along with eight other regional districts in the central and southern interiors of BC, announced the availability of a specialized text service that allows people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing or speech impaired (DHHSI) to communicate with 9-1-1 call-takers by text. This service is called Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) and is being 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. 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.

“T9-1-1 is a vital connection to police, fire and ambulance and enables quick communication between a deaf caller and emergency services,” remarked 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 ten 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 9-1-1 in order to establish a voice network connection and initiate the special messaging technology.

“The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is pleased to be able to provide Text to 911 services in our area and is thankful for the work of E-Comm staff to successfully implement this new service,” said Grace McGregor, RDKB board chair.When E-Comm receives a 9-1-1 call from a DHHSI person who has 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 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.

“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,” added David Guscott, E-Comm president and CEO. “E-Comm is proud to be able to offer this enhanced level of service to our partners in the central and southern interior of BC.” It is important to emphasize that this 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.

Members of the DHHSI community should visit TextWith911.ca to register their cellphone with their wireless service provider and to learn more about how the system works.

 

Just Posted

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Service is status quo at Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue

Lengthy review of the regional fire department is now complete

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read