The RCMP is asking the public not to utilize text messaging as a method to call 911 for emergency services assistance. These emergency services include police, fire or ambulance. We further request that text messaging not be used to communicate non-emergency or emergency RCMP assistance needs to the 10 digit RCMP detachment telephone numbers.
Wherever you are in North America, if you dial 911 the telephone system is going to direct your call to the closest 911 centre to you. There is not a universal text number for 911 so if text it is not going to go anywhere. stated Jodie Robertson at E-Comm.
In order to ensure the safety of the public is first and foremost, it is necessary for the public to understand that text messaging does not afford our communications operators the opportunity to have a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue with the public. 911 and the RCMP communications operators must be able to fully understand the urgency of the public's need, and obtain full and accurate details of events and complaints.
Recognizing that some of the hearing impaired community has embraced text messaging, they too must know that the best method for communicating with 9-1-1 remains the TTY format. We empathize as text messaging has provided a sense of communication mobility, but unfortunately for this sector of our community the only dependable communication to request 9-1-1 is the TTY.
There is also no way for the caller to verify whether or not their text message has been received at a 911 centre. In some cases a text message appears to the caller as having been received in RCMP communications centres and with 9-1-1. This is not the case. A false sense of security may be experienced because a return message stating that your text message is undeliverable is not received.
Should the public wish to understand the proper use of 9-1-1, consult your 9-1-1 Service Provider website or phone the non-emergency telephone number for your local police, fire or ambulance.
CM Sandy Vogstad
OIC North District Operational Communication Centre