People in small communities in Canada’s northwestern Yukon territory may soon be able to dial 911 using a new automated system that would re-direct the call to the local police, fire or ambulance service.
Brad Cathers, minister of Community Services, said the system has been tested.
“It would allow Yukoners who dialled 911 in those areas to press one, two or three for the services that they needed,” he said.
“While this is an interim step, it’s certainly better than someone dialling 911 and not getting anywhere.”
Yukon’s association of fire chiefs has been calling on the government to install 911 service throughout the territory. It argues that most people will remember 911 in an emergency, but may fail to remember three different phone numbers that can vary by community.
The new system would only work on landlines.
Before it is activated, Northwestel will have to apply to the CRTC.
The 911 service in Whitehorse, the capital of Yukon, is available within an 80 kilometre radius of the city.