UK emergency video relay service now available in British Sign Language (BSL)
999 BSL is a completely free of charge service which allows you to contact the Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade and Coastguard emergency services using BSL, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service has been set up so that no deaf person will be excluded when they need to make an emergency call, therefore saving lives.
What is 999 BSL?
The 999 BSL service is for emergency situations ONLY, for an example if someone is seriously injured; lives at risk; being in danger or harm; a serious offence is in progress or just has been committed.
For less urgent situations, please use Police 101 (wherever possible) and NHS111 through SignVideo - not 999 BSL, unless there is an emergency.
Setting up EVR
There are two ways to reach the emergency authorities through 999 BSL service. Download dedicated 999 BSL app from Apple/Google store, or visit website at www.999bsl.co.uk
How to make a 999 BSL call?
There are four very simple steps, you will need to:
- Open the app (needs downloading beforehand) or visit website. You will need to give permission to use your camera and/or microphone
- Press the red button 'Call 999 BSL now’
- The BSL interpreter will then call the 999 operator through landline and will relay the conversation.
- Connect to an interpreter who will appear on the screen
It is so simple.
Any calls made via the service do not use your mobile or broadband data and are completely anonymous.
The role of the interpreters
BSL Interpreting is the process of conveying a spoken or signed language into another spoken or signed language to ensure that effective communication takes place between deaf and hearing parties. A qualified BSL/English interpreter is a professional who is fluent in both spoken and signed languages and holds recognised qualifications in both BSL, interpreting practise and theory.
To find out more about the 999 BSL service please visit www.999bsl.co.uk