In the Media

September Issue of Info 9-1-1 Québec (see page 3)

Mandated improvements to 9-1-1 service has taxpayers on the hook

9-1-1 is not always one phone call away

E-Comm Announces Text with 9-1-1 Service is now Available -- OPP and TPS State Intentions on Text with 9-1-1

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) directive to begin transmitting Text with 9-1-1 calls as of March 18, 2014 has prompted action by several agencies.

E-Comm (the 9-1-1 answer point serving Metro Vancouver and other parts of southwest British Columbia) launched Canada’s first Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service for members of the Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing and Speech Impaired (DHHSI) community, in conjunction with its emergency-service partners. Text with 9-1-1 service is now available to people who are hearing or speech impaired in Metro Vancouver and select surrounding area. See press release

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) announced in a press release that effective March 18, members of the DHHSI community will be able to register their cell phones with their wireless service providers in preparation for texting with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1). However, the TPS cautioned that voice-calling remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or with speech impairment. 

On March 14, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) issued a letter calling on the CRTC to either reverse the decision or discourage the practice of sending Text with 9-1-1 calls on legacy 9-1-1 networks, citing OPP and many PSAPs across Canada are not ready.

The CRTC also made an announcement noting that Text with 9-1-1 service will become available in other parts of the country as regional emergency call centres implement this new feature. For more information and to register, Canadians are encouraged to visit www.textwith911.ca where they can find direct links for the service with their wireless service provider. Responders are encouraged to check with Tri-Service leaders in their jurisdiction for timelines in their area.

Many more announcements are expected to follow.

Call to Action!

Next Generation 9-1-1 is an absolute priority for public safety organizations. While the existing 9-1-1 system is decades old, it continues to perform well and remains the main conduit for Canadians to reach emergency services in most jurisdictions. However, there are some serious weaknesses with the current system and a lack of a standard approach to 9-1-1 across Canada.

A major concern for those who handle 9-1-1 calls, known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), involves the ability to consistently provide a precise location for cellular callers, which makes up the majority of 9-1-1 calls. In addition, as the Canadian public embraces social media and new technology, they have come to expect to use these capabilities when contacting emergency services.

Right now, in Canada, you cannot text, send pictures or videos to 9-1-1. That capability may never be fully realized, but what Next Generation 9-1-1 does promise is the ability to transfer calls, messages and data, like pictures or video, between any interconnected NG9‐1‐1 systems or responder communications system anywhere in the country or beyond. It's about the ability to share data and become interoperable with other systems. It's about more efficiently responding to life and death incidents.

What can you do?

  • Get informed and put this issue on your organization’s radar.
  • Inform your boards, municipalities, provincial/territorial governments and other governing bodies that NG9-1-1 will have a significant impact on public safety in Canada.
  • Work with tri-services colleagues and others to advocate a strong voice for public safety in advance of NG9-1-1 implementation.
  • Look for and act on mobilization information as it sent by CITIG, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and Paramedic Chiefs of Canada (PCC) and others.

What's Hot

CITIG Releases a Status Report on NG9-1-1

On Monday, October, 7, 2013, CITIG released a status report on Next Generation (NG) 9-1-1. The concise five-page document provides a high-level overview of the issue, the Canadian context, “active” recommendations and the work of leaders like the Association of Public Communications Officers Canada (APCO) and the Canadian Division of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA). Get your copy here.

Download the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Report on 9-1-1

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) recently made available the report titled 9-1-1 Services in British Columbia: Background Review in Relation to a Province-Wide Call Answer Levy. Download your copy here or visit www.ubcm.ca for complete details. 

NG911 Video
See our new NG9-1-1 Video

CITIG Media Release: NG9-1-1 TAKES A MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN CANADA: NATIONAL GOVERNANCE AND COORDINATION WORKSHOP A SUCCESS

Important Links

APCO Canada

NENA


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