The Canadian telecommunications industry, together with the folks at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and AMBER Alert agencies from coast to coast, to coast… have announced AMBER Alerts for customers on most Canadian wireless service providers.
So what are AMBER alerts, anyway? AMBER alerts are text messages sent out by agencies in order to provide the public with up-to-the-second information about child abductions. Messages sent are aimed at soliciting the public’s help for a safe return of an abducted child.
Vic Toews, Canadian Minister of Public Safety commented on the news:
“Our government is committed to building stronger and safer communities… Through cooperation between the RCMP and wireless service providers, this initiative will demonstrate how technology can help fight serious criminal activity and make the most vulnerable citizens in our society safer.”
A worthy service, for sure. And it’s free. The AMBER alerts program is available to cellphone users in all 10 provinces and 3 territories. To get started, simply hit up www.WirelessAMBER.ca from your desktop browser or mobile device. Alternatively, you can text the keyword AMBER to 26237 to trigger your free subscription. For the official press release, hit the jump.
Free Wireless AMBER Alerts now available to Canadian cell phone customers
New text message service to help in the safe return of abducted children
OTTAWA – May 26, 2010 – Canada’s wireless telecommunications industry, in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and AMBER Alert agencies across the country, today introduced Wireless AMBER Alerts. The new initiative, hosted and powered in-kind by MyThum Interactive (www.mythum.com), allows customers of most Canadian wireless service providers to opt-in to receive free AMBER Alerts as text messages on their cell phones.
Wireless AMBER Alerts add a valuable new method to assist AMBER Alert agencies in providing the public with immediate and up-to-date information about a child’s abduction, and to solicit the public’s help in the safe and swift return of the child.
“Our government is committed to building stronger and safer communities,” said Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety. “Through cooperation between the RCMP and wireless service providers, this initiative will demonstrate how technology can help fight serious criminal activity and make the most vulnerable citizens in our society safer.”
“Canadians have been turning to their cell phones for safety and security for 25 years now,” said Bernard Lord, President & CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). “And now, if one of our most precious citizens is abducted, Wireless AMBER Alerts can put the immediate power to help in the hands of Canada’s 23 million cell phone customers”.
The completely free Wireless AMBER Alerts program is available to cell phone users in all 10 provinces and three territories. Subscribing is easy to do either online at www.WirelessAMBER.ca or directly from your wireless device.
Subscribing Online at www.WirelessAMBER.ca:
1. Enter your 10-digit mobile number, including area code and click Submit.
2. You will then receive a text message on your mobile phone with a four-letter validation PIN code. Enter the PIN online and click Submit.
3. The Subscription page appears, with your home province or territory defaulted. Here you have the ability to check or uncheck additional provinces you wish to subscribe to.
4. To modify your subscription at any time to add or remove a province(s) or territory, just visit www.WirelessAMBER.ca and enter your 10-digit mobile number and confirm using the four-letter validation PIN code. You will then be presented with a page where you have the option to update your selected provinces or territories. To unsubscribe from your current subscription, simply unselect all checkboxes. Alternatively, you can send the keyword STOP to 26237 (AMBER) at any time from your mobile phone.
Subscribing with Your Wireless Device:
Most customers can follow these instructions to subscribe to Wireless AMBER Alerts directly from their wireless device.
1. Text the keyword AMBER to 26237 (AMBER).
2. You will be asked whether you would like to receive alerts in English or in French. Reply with either EN or FR.
3. You will receive a link to a mobile site where your home province or territory is defaulted. For example, if you sign up using a mobile phone number with a 416 area code, you will automatically be signed up to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts originating from Ontario.
4. To add or remove a province(s) or territory, simply text AMBER to 26237 (AMBER), and then follow the link to the mobile site to your previously saved settings. To unsubscribe, text the keyword STOP to 26237 (AMBER) at any time.
Participating wireless service providers at launch are: Bell, Fido, Koodo, MTS, NorthernTel, Rogers, SaskTel, Solo Mobile, Télébec, TELUS, Videotron and Virgin Mobile.
Note: Electronic copies of the new Wireless AMBER Alerts television PSA – “When a child is abducted, everyone feels the loss.” – are available in English and French. Radio versions of the PSAs are also available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access.