It will be possible to communicate by text message to 911 in Quebec as of 2025

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It will be possible to communicate by text message to 911 in Quebec as of 2025

As of 2025, Quebecers will be able to write to 911 by text message. (File photo)

As promised the day after the unveiling of the new provincial budget, Quebec is investing $45.5 million over three years to modernize the 911 service. As of March 2025, it will be possible, for example, to send a text message to 911, videos, photos of the damage caused by an accident or medical information.

Public Security Minister and MNA for Granby, François Bonnardel, the announcement on Monday in Sherbrooke.

François Bonnardel explains that this measure will, among other things, allow Quebecers to feel safer when they call the 911 service.

As of 2025, it will be possible to send a text message to 911, announced the Minister of Public Health François Bonnardel Monday morning in Sherbrooke.

The minister anticipates that this new way to call 911 could help female or male victims of domestic violence who are unable to speak out loud in the presence of their abuser.

For me, this is an important signal that we are sending today to be able to respond to the various problems that women may have alone at home with children, says the Minister.

“With texting, you can have a woman who is a victim of domestic violence, who can't talk, who can pick up her phone, who presses the 911 button and who could write without being seen by her attacker.

— François Bonnardel, Minister of Public Security

He adds that the videos that will be sent to call centers can help dispatchers decide on the level of urgency of the call.

The president of the Association des centers d'urgence du Québec, Carole Raîche, specifies that it is from 2024 that call centers will have to gradually migrate to the next generation 911 network.< /p>

She maintains that users will still have to call 911 before initiating a text message conversation.

Dispatchers will therefore continue to hear background noises during the written exchange.

“We'll hear if kids are crying, we'll hear if there's other things, and that's what will allow us to have a much more complete topo and to have a more appropriate deployment for the safety of our responders and our callers.

— Carole Raîche, President of the Association of Emergency Centers of Quebec

27 911 emergency centers and 9 secondary emergency call centers will receive financial assistance in Quebec as part of this modernization, said François Bonnardel.

The section head for the 911 center in Sherbrooke, Marie-France Côté, points out that this modernization will require a lot of training for dispatchers. In particular, many technological tools will have to be changed.

For the caller, it will just be more quality, easier to reach us in all sorts of ways. For our dispatchers, there will be a lot of training, because it will be new technology, explains the head of section.

The president of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities (FQM ), Jacques Demers, is positive about this new communication option. The more precise data we communicate to our emergency services, the better they will be to intervene. It was very important as an announcement, explains the president.

“The images [photos sent by text message], it will speak a lot and it will allow our 911 responders to ask questions about things they are going to see in the pictures. An image speaks so much. »

— Jacques Demers, President of the Quebec Federation of Municipalities

In a press release, the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) also welcomes this modernization of power plants. #x27;calls. This financial assistance […] will make it possible to continue to provide quality emergency services to the population throughout Quebec, while reducing the financial burden on municipalities, the 911 Agency and emergency centres. emergency, reads.

The modernization of 911 call centers is a requirement of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

With information from Brigitte Marcoux

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