Nfld. & Labrador

911 text service now available in N.L.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the final province to introduce the ability for people to text 911 in an emergency.

Service benefits people who have hearing or speech impairments

Texting 911 is now an option for people in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Geoff Bartlett/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador is the last province in Canada to introduce the ability for people to text 911 in an emergency.

The service was officially introduced Friday morning at the Alt Hotel in St. John's, with provincial cabinet ministers and the executive director of the non-profit NL911 corporation — which launched the T911 service — on hand.

To use it, though, people will need to register their mobile phones with their service providers. Users can either visit www.textwith911.ca or the website of their service provider. The provincial government is encouraging people to check with their cell service providers to make sure their phones are compatible.

"We're delighted to launch this service today. This is an important step in ensuring that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have access to help in an emergency, and was made possible with assistance from our many community partners and associations," said Kerry Power, NL911's executive director, in a press release this morning.

In the statement, Marie Ryan, chair of the Provincial Advisory Council for the Inclusion of Persons of Disabilities, said having a hearing or speech impairment shouldn't prevent someone from accessing a vital service like 911.

"The implementation of T911 provides the enhancement needed to ensure individuals with these types of disabilities have equitable access to a potentially life-saving service.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador