Emergency Services

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, contacting the emergency services is not as easy as dialling 999.

There is a service called emergencySMS which helps overcome this.

The emergencySMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.

Simply by sending an SMS message to 999 you can call for help and the emergency services will be able to reply to you.

You will need to register your mobile phone before using the emergencySMS service, click on the Registering your phone link above for more information.

Click here to download the emergencySMS leaflet.

REMEMBER: This is an emergency service and must only be used in an emergency as below.

When…

  • Life is at risk;
  • Crime/trouble is happening now;
  • Someone is injured or threatened;
  • Person committing crime is near;
  • There is a fire or people trapped;
  • You need an ambulance urgently;
  • Someone is in trouble, or missing, at sea,
  • Someone is in trouble on the cliffs or on the shoreline

For more information of the emergency services and contacting them, click on the links below:

 

Advice on how to access the ambulance service for Deaf and hard of hearing people

If you have access to a phone and are able to hear a little call 999 and say “AMBULANCE”

If you are calling from a landline then that should initiate your address but important things to tell the operator are as follows:

  • Address of the incident
  • Details of the person needing the ambulance
  • If you are using a minicom this is the information you should send to the emergency services.
  • If you are unable to use a phone but have a mobile phone you should register your phone to allow you to send SMS to 999.

You will need to register your phone to access this service.

Visit http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/ to register your phone.

Please contact Action for Deafness for more details of equipment that you should have installed to ensure your safety in your home.

Working with Action for Deafness West Sussex Fire and Rescue have put together the below advice for the Deaf and hard of hearing

In case of fire:

If you have access to a phone and are able to hear a little call 999 and say “Fire”

If you are calling from a landline then that should initiate your address but important things to tell the operator are as follows:

Address of the incident

  • If you are in the building where the fire is
  • If you are stuck in the building where the fire is
  • Whereabouts in the building you are
  • If you are using a minicom this is the information you should send to the emergency services.
  • If you are unable to use a phone but have a mobile phone you should make sure you always take your mobile phone up to the bedroom when you go to bed at night. You would then be able to send an SMS to 999.

You will need to register your phone to access this service. Visit http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/ to register your phone.

Please contact Action for Deafness for more details of equipment that you should have installed to ensure your safety in the event of a fire. 

Sussex Police is part of the Pegasus Scheme. This scheme allows the police to keep your details when you register with Pegasus which we save in a secure database. You are then issued with a personal identification number (PIN) you can use when calling the police. If you need to call us, you tell us your PIN and we can access your details right away.

Full details of the Pegasus Scheme can be found here

Roadside Telephone Assistance for Text Users

The Highways Agency have launched an emergency roadside telephone of particular benefit to Deaf and hard of hearing users. The ERT features an innovative text facility for non-verbal communication.

The new emergency roadside telephone (ERT) is a high-visibility unit, which may be configured to meet different installation requirements. Unlike its predecessor, the Type 354 also offers a range of innovative features that greatly improve the clarity and functionality for both the user at the roadside, and for the operator monitoring calls in the dedicated Control Office.

This new ERT utilises a sophisticated Noise-Cancelling system to give improved audio performance both for the road user and the Control Office operator. Furthermore, the innovative use of non-voice communications enables the ERT to be used by people who have difficulty communicating in spoken English (e.g. the hard of hearing of non-English speaking.)

The ERT has many innovative features including:

  • Display for user prompting, volume control and non-voice communication;
  • Stylish ergonomic design;
  • Patented safety design meeting latest European Standards, BS EN 12767;
  • Environmentally friendly with solar cells and very low power consumption;
  • Low maintenance costs and increased reliability.

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