New 9-1-1 Text Service For Deaf, Speech Impaired

BlackburnNews.com file photo.

In an effort to make 9-1-1 services more accessible for everyone a texting option for the deaf and speech impaired has been unveiled in London and Middlesex County.

Text with 9-1-1 was launched on Monday by London police and the London Fire Department. The service allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired within London and Middlesex County to conduct a 9-1-1 call by way of text messaging.

“When they call 9-1-1 what happens on our end is a box pops up on the computer that notifies the call-taker in orange, so it’s a different colour, that the individual on the other end of that cell phone is in fact deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired,” says Constable Sandasha Bough. “What happens then is they open up a secondary box on their computer and they start a text conversation with that individual”

Work to get the technology in place for the new service began a year ago.

“Every 9-1-1 call comes through our police service and then it gets fielded to police, fire or ambulance, so our 9-1-1 operators are all trained on this new program,” says Constable Bough.

Members of the DHHSI community who want to take advantage of this service are required to register their phone with their cellular service provider.

More information about Text with 9-1-1 can be found at www.textwith911.ca.