Everyone in Toronto's diverse communities has access to life-saving 9-1-1 emergency services in more than 170 languages. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Visitors and residents can call 9-1-1 for help no matter what language they speak. 9-1-1 call-takers from Toronto Emergency Medical Services, Toronto Police Services and Toronto Fire Services have instant access to interpretation in more than 170 languages.
In 2011, Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) received over 2,500 calls for medical help that required an interpreter. They were able to respond to those calls in 31 languages other than English. The 15 most frequently used languages were Cantonese, Hungarian, Farsi, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, Tamil, Greek, Vietnamese, Spanish, Polish and Somali.
How does it work?
- Call 9-1-1.
- The call-taker will ask you what language you speak.
- Tell the call-taker the language you want to speak, say "Spanish" instead of "Español" if possible.
- Wait for the call-taker to connect you to the translator.
- Answer the questions in your preferred language.