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999 service launched for British Sign Language users

Posted by Jacob Collier on 22 June 2022

A new service has been launched to make 999 calling more accessible for people who use British Sign Language (BSL).

999 BSL connects users to British Sign Language interpreters remotely through the 999 BSL app on their phone, or via the 999 BSL website.

In an emergency situation, the interpreter will appear on the caller's screen and can relay the conversation to the 999 call handler.

An event was held on Friday 17 June at Joint Headquarters to launch the event in Nottinghamshire. It was attended by members of the deaf community, the Chief Fire Officer, Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Joint Fire Control and police and fire staff.

Chief Fire Officer Craig Parkin said: “We’re proud to be here with the deaf community and our partners in Nottinghamshire to launch this service, which makes 999 calling more accessible for people who use British Sign Language.

“We want the services we offer to our communities to be as inclusive as they can, and we are working to improve so we can keep people safe from fire and other emergencies.”

Nottinghamshire and Rescue Service offers specific support for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and we are looking to improve.

If your deafness affects your ability to hear a smoke alarm, we may provide an adapted smoke alarm or make a referral to your local council who may be able to provide the relevant equipment. You can go to our Safe and Well page to book a Safe and Well visit.