Contacting emergency services is about to get much easier in Strathcona County.
As of August 1, text with 9-1-1 will be available in the county to communicate with authorities.
“We are asking residents who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired to register their eligible cell phone number with their wireless service provider to access the 9-1-1 to text service,” said Emergency Services deputy chief Bob Scott.
Emergency Communication Operators are being trained on how to identify a mobile device that is registered for the service and how to switch the call to text-based communication during an emergency.
It's a modern-day switch from old landline Teletype Terminals (TTY). The new technology can also be used in different types of emergencies where it might be dangerous to place a phone call, such as a hostage situation or a mass shooting.
The service is also available in numerous other regions in Alberta, including Edmonton and Parkland County.
Once a phone is registered for the text to 9-1-1 service, the mobile phone will be recognized in other parts of the nation where it's also available.