Before you can use T9-1-1:
You must be registered for the T9-1-1 service and establish contact through a voice call to interact with emergency services via text message. A text message that is sent to 9-1-1 from an unregistered cell phone and/or without a voice call will not be received.
How to Make a T9-1-1 Call
- Unlock the cell phone keypad if it is locked. Some cell phones do not allow receiving and/or sending text messages if the keypad is locked, even though they allow a user to dial 9-1-1. “Unlocking” means entering your personal password or pressing an unlock button on the phone.
- Dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone, and press CALL/SEND to place an emergency voice call.
- Monitor the cell phone display to ensure that the call is connected. Shortly after 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 cell phone will have 13 digits and will begin with 555911.
- Once the initial text message is received, you should reply to this text message and provide the 9-1-1 call taker with the information that they are requesting, such as the nature of the emergency and your location. Keep your text messages brief and concise.
- In instances where you do not receive replies to your text message, re-send the message.
- You should keep the 9-1-1 voice call connected during the entire text messaging session if possible. This will permit the 9-1-1 call taker to hear any background noises that can be helpful to assess the emergency, and will provide enhanced 9-1-1 functions.
- You will know that the T9-1-1 session has been concluded when you receive the message “End of 9-1-1 Call”.
- After receiving the “End of 9-1-1 Call” message, if you need to further communicate with the 9-1-1 call centre, you will need to initiate a new text session by dialing 9-1-1 to re-establish contact with the 9-1-1 call centre and communicate again by replying to the text message.
Interacting with a 9-1-1 Call Centre during a T9-1-1 Call
If you have registered for the T9-1-1 service but do not receive an initial text message from the 9-1-1 call centre after calling 9-1-1:
- Ensure that you are using the cell phone with the telephone number that you have registered with the T9-1-1 service.
- Confirm that you are still in the coverage area.
- Check to make sure that you have adequate network coverage by looking at your handset.
- Keep monitoring the cell phone display to ensure that the call is still connected.
Please be patient, especially during peak emergency situations. The 9-1-1 call taker will be making their best effort to quickly send the initial text message.
- If no response is received within a few minutes, then you may seek an alternate way to get emergency assistance.
You will know that the T9-1-1 session has been concluded when you receive an “End of 9-1-1 Call” message. If no “End of 9-1-1 Call” or further response is received, you can send a text message, asking if the 9-1-1 conversation has ended. If you receive an error message, the T9-1-1 session has ended.
If the session has been concluded, you will need to initiate a new text session by dialling 9-1-1 to re-establish contact with a 9-1-1 call taker and communicate again using text messaging.
What to put in your message
- The more specific your message, the more quickly help can be sent. An appropriate emergency text messaging format might be:
POLICE: road accident, junction High Street and Bridge Street, City Name
FIRE at 123 Main Street, City Name