With Hurricane Sandy now a thing of the past, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that New Yorkers would be able to send text messages to 911, a significant step as the state looks to decongest the city’s phone lines and staff prioritize emergency requests. In the Unites States, the four major carriers – Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have signed an agreement that would allow for people to text 911 with emergencies. So if you are physically not able to make a call can text their situation.
Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski said, “Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century – and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal. Last year I announced a comprehensive plan to accelerate the transition to Next Generation 911, including text-to-911, and the FCC has acted to advance this effort.
Profectio reached out to the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) for comment as to whether Canada would be getting a similar service and they have responded with the following:
Currently the CRTC, along with Canada’s wireless carriers, law enforcement agencies, PSAPs and other stakeholders are working on an initiative to support text to 911 for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and/or Speech Impaired (DHHSI) community.
This was initiated by the CRTC in February of this year, and the working group will be submitting its final report to the CRTC shortly. We expect to hear a response from the CRTC in the new year.
Here is a link to the CRTC’s website about the initiate the group put forward.
Let’s hope that here in Canada it will not take a major disaster to bring this country up to date on its disaster relief situation…