Credits: : IAN KUCERAK/EDMONTON SUN/QMI AGENCY
Canadians with hearing or speech impairments will soon be able to text 911 during emergencies.
"Services such as 911 are critical to the health and safety of all Canadians," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), in a statement released Thursday.
"This initiative is a perfect example of how technology can be used to improve access to 911 services for Canadians with disabilities."
As the service starts rolling out in different towns and cities, Canadians with speech or hearing impairments have to register their cellphone numbers with their service providers.
In the case of an emergency, they would call 911 as usual. A call centre would automatically receive notification and a 911 operator would reply via text.
Telephone and wireless companies have until Jan. 24, 2014, to upgrade their networks to support this new feature, the CRTC said.