By Staff The Canadian Press
ORILLIA, Ont. Ontario residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired will now be able to communicate with provincial police via text message when they dial 911 in an emergency.
The Ontario Provincial Police’s new Text with 911 feature allows those with hearing and speech disabilities to register their cellphones for the service with their wireless carrier.
In an emergency, those who have the service will dial 911 as if making a voice call and will be able to communicate with a 911 operator via text message.
The service is not intended for use by the general public.
Chief Supt. Rick Barnum, commander of the OPP’s communications and technology services bureau, says offering the service was complex and involved months of collaboration with various stakeholders.
He says the service is an “important and innovative” one.