Let Us Help You
Belleville Police Service
Partners With The Community

Emergency: [9-1-1]  Hearing Impaired (TTY): 613-966-3788

Voluntary Registration Program 9-1-1 Communication

The Belleville Police Service recognizes that during emergency situations, Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing individuals may struggle to receive the basic emergency services that most of the community takes for granted. Calling 911 has some significant barriers.

The Belleville Police Service wishes to be proactive in enhancing the current service.

The Belleville Police Service is offering a voluntary registration program which is intended to assist the Belleville Police Services and first responders in providing an appropriate response to 9-1-1 emergency calls where communication barriers exist.

In the event a 9-1-1 call is received from the registered address, information specific to the communication barrier will be available to the area emergency services.

The information collected is strictly confidential; however, it may be shared with other Emergency Services.

Qualified registrants are residents of the City of Belleville with hearing loss that affects their ability to communicate with 9-1-1 operators via regular telephone.

Flagging Addresses:

Address location and telephone numbers for land line 911 calls are automatically delivered electronically to emergency services. Cell phone users to 911 will display the cell phone along with closest coordinates based on cell phone towers.

It is still important for you, if you are able, to confirm your address and provide as much information as possible to the 911 operator..

The new registration program will add a flag to your address. This will assist the 911 operator in knowing someone at your address has a hearing loss and may need help even if they cannot communicate their needs. This registration will also provide the officers attending your location with information about your preferred method of communication.

Basic 9-1-1 Information:

Emergencies do not happen very often, but when they do, you want to be ready.

The best way to handle any emergency is to be prepared for one before it happens. Know what to do ahead of time and try to stay in control. Understanding what to do and understanding the barriers are essential to getting the help you need when you need it.

Dead or Silent Lines/Hang Ups:

Dead or silent lines are those calls that come into the 911 dispatch centre and no voice communication or TTY tones are heard. If the address is flagged as a result of the voluntary registration program, these calls may be given a higher priority.

The 911 operator needs to receive some information from you to know what type of service to send - Police, Ambulance or Fire. In the event that the operator receives a dead or silent call, they will dispatch police services ONLY if the call has been placed on a landline. If a dead or silent call has been placed on a cell phone, the operator will not have location information readily available to dispatch any services to you.

When you are using a TTY to call 9-1-1, ensure that at a minimum you hit the space bar a few times to activate the TTY tones. The operator will at least know that there is someone on the line that requires emergency assistance. Do your best to remain calm and type some message to the operator. Even the word "HELP" or "EMS" (Emergency Medical Services) would alert the operator to the fact that there is someone on the line needing assistance

When should I call 911?

The Belleville Police Service web site has a page dedicated to when to call 911 and what information is important. You can review this information by going to Crime Prevention > 911 Information

The History of 9-1-1

In 1972 9-1-1 was established as the national emergency number for Canada.

It allows a caller anywhere in Canada to access police, fire and ambulance services.

However, the current 911 system in Canada was originally designed for voice-to voice communication, which makes calling 911 with a TTY, voice carry over (VCO) phone, or amplified, phones difficult. There have been many upgrades and attempts to create an equitable 911system, but there are significant technological challenges that prevent successful interfacing with any form of texting.

Future Texting to 911 for Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing Individuals

Texting to 911, known as T911 for those with wireless devices, is presently in development. In order to ensure this is an efficient service, T9-1-1 will only be available for those with a hearing loss or speech difficulties. The general hearing population will not have access to this service at this time. Users registered with their phone provider will make a phone call to 9-1-1, and the dispatcher will respond with a text message to the user's cell phone. The user can then text their situation back to the dispatcher.

The technical trials and consumer trial phase were due to begin in February of 2012 and the proposed launch date could be sometime later in 2012 or 2013 but has not been confirmed. The pilot program is taking place in Peel Region, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. If this program is successful it could be implemented on a federal level.