Manitobans with hearing disabilities can now get a text message back when they call 911 for emergency help.

First though they must register their devices with their service providers. 

In order to reach an emergency call centre, registered users would have to call 911 on their cellphone.

The 911 operator receives an alert that the call is coming from someone who is hearing-impaired. The operator would then respond via text message.

MTS said in a news release once a customer has registered for the service with their service provider, the emergency centre would be able to locate the caller through his or her cell phone, as well as the cellular tower handling the call. 

The service would only work if the customer were in its service providers' coverage area. 

Other wireless telecommunications companies have offered the service within some cities. MTS is the first in Canada to offer the service province-wide.

MTS said Manitoba telecommunications companies worked with the province and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association to launch the service.

MTS said more information is available on its website or at an MTS outlet.