Text with 9-1-1

Text with 9-1-1 is a free service that enables deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired persons to communicate with 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. It is available in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. Visit http://textwith911.ca/en/service-availability/ for a complete list of areas in Canada that offer Text with 9-1-1.

In order to use Text with 9-1-1, you must have a compatible cellphone and register your phone number with your wireless service provider. A complete list of service providers is available at http://textwith9-1-1.ca/en/wireless-service-providers/.

How to use Text with 9-1-1:

  1. Unlock your cellphone and make a voice call to 9-1-1. Calls to 9-1-1 are free even if you do not have a voice calling plan.
    1. There is no need to speak as the 9-1-1 operator will receive a message to communicate with you via text messaging.
    2. Sending a text directly to 911 is not supported in Canada, you must make a voice call to 911 to initiate the Text-to-911 process.
  2. Once the call is connected, you should receive an initial text message from a 9-1-1 call centre. The number you will see on your cellphone will have 13 digits and will begin with 5559-1-1.
  3. Once you receive the initial text message, reply with the information the 9-1-1 operator asks you for, such as the nature of the emergency and your location.
    1. If possible, keep the 9-1-1 voice call connected throughout your text messaging session so that the 9-1-1 operator can hear any background noises that will be helpful to assess the emergency.
  4. Once you are finished, you will receive a text message that says “End of 9-1-1 Call” to end the Text with 9-1-1

More information about Text with 9-1-1 is also available at http://textwith9-1-1.ca/en/home/.

Text Message for people with Hearing Loss