DeafHear Regional News

Regional News

Minister launches text access to Emergency Services

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte TD today launched the new Pilot 112 SMS Service that facilitates contacting the emergency services via SMS/text message. This means that for the first time Deaf and Hard of Hearing people will be able to contact the emergency services by texting 112. The Pilot is due to run until the end of June 2012, at which time it will be reviewed by the Department.

Launching the service, Minister Rabbitte said in providing SMS access for contacting the emergency services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people “we are taking a step closer towards parity of access for all to the emergency services.”

DeafHear is delighted that at last this important service has been made accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. It is a vital citizen service that saves lives, and is an important step towards greater equality in citizenship for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.
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Welcoming the launch, DeafHear Chief Executive Niall Keane said “This is a very important development, and Deaf organisations have been lobbying for this service for a considerable number of years. Now Deaf people who live alone or who have dependents can rest easy that in the event of an emergency involving themselves or their dependents, they can get help just as quickly as other citizens.”

In order to use the emergency service by text, people must register by texting the word ´register´ to 112. People who register will also be encouraged to provide some personal details that will assist the emergency services in responding to emergencies received via text/SMS. Personal details, such as name and address, must be provided through the emergency services website DeafHear staff will be happy to provide further information to anyone who has questions in relation to registering for the Emergency Services SMS service.

Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte TD
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte TD

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There are some important issues that users of the service must be aware of:

  • Not all text messages are delivered immediately. A small number may be delayed, so until a confirmation text is received, a person should keep trying to contact the emergency services, using other means if possible.

  • Some mobile operators are not participating in the service. The following operators are participating: emobile, Meteor, O2, Three and Vodafone. If in doubt, check with your service provider.

  • The service will not operate if you are travelling abroad or in Northern Ireland, as the text message will not be delivered to the emergency services. If you regularly travel between the South and North of Ireland, you should also consider registering with the emergency services in Northern Ireland.

  • It is important include the following information in an emergency text:

    • Which service is needed?

    • What is the problem?

    • Where are you?

    • For example: ´ambulance, man having a heart attack. Meath. Outside Post Office in Navan´.

Anyone requiring further information on the new service can
contact any DeafHear Resource Centre or email us





more...Hearing loss costs an estimated €2.2bn every year in Ireland.


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