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Emergency Interpreting Services - Questions and Answers

Emergency Requests 

  • Anyone can request emergency interpreting services
  • Available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year
  • Emergency interpreting services may not be available at all times in all communities 

​An Emergency is defined as:

  • A sudden, unforeseen crisis that requires immediate attention
  • Examples of emergency locations include: 
    • Hospital emergency rooms
    • After-hours medical clinics
    • Crisis centres
    • Shelters
    • Police service stations
    • Child welfare emergencies at CAS offices, you home or child's school
    • Job interview

The following are not considered emergencies:

  • Regular dentist appointment
  • Eye check-up
  • One-on-one meeting at your workplace
  • Family doctor appointment

How does Emergency Interpreting Services (EIS) work?

On call scheduling

  • We have OIS staff who work on the monthly scheduling for all regions in Ontario.
  • We have one interpreter in each region (i.e. London, Toronto, Sudbury, etc.), occasionally two interpreters, (i.e. child birth expectation)
  • An on call interpreter is required to respond to an emergency call.
  • Sometimes, we do not have an interpreter available for an on call schedule in some evenings and weekend ir sometime an interpreter is available at 7 p.m., not at 5 p.m.
  • Sometimes, we have an interpreter cancel their shift due to circumstances beyond our control.
  • We make every effort to have services available and to ensure there are backup emergency services, however, services may not be available at all times in all communities. 

​Back-up schedule

  • There is a back-up schedule that interpreters can be added to, however; they can decide on taking an emergency assignment or not, if they are available.

Important note

Police services - You must have the relevant approvals from the Police Services before requesting interpreting service. All other services mentioned do not need prior approval.

If you have questions or concerns, contact us:


If you need an interpreter for an emergency, contact:

TTY: 1-877-215-9530

Phone: 1-866-518-0000

SMS/Text: 416-712-6637



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