The Europe-wide REACH112 initiative aims to address the urgent need to improve access to emergency services for people with disabilities who find it hard to communicate with traditional emergency services. REACH112 provides more modes of communication for each situation, whether it be with a live real-time SMS conversation, sign language, lip reading, voice or any combination of the above.
Each year in Ireland, around five million emergency calls are made to 999 or 112. The 112 SMS service involves a once-off registration and then deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people can send an SMS to the Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) where it will be passed to An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance service, the Fire service, or the Irish Coastguard. The ECAS operator will act as a relay between the texter and the required emergency service.
“The programme has been a unique mix of people, process and technology, and demonstrates BT’s broad range of expertise,” commented Alex Manek ECAS Policy & Performance Manager, BT. “We developed a solution that incorporates BT’s world class processes, a world class operator service and best-in-class technologies.”
Remember that this is an Emergency Service and should only be used in an emergency situation.