We are joining forces with a revolutionary new service which will allow deaf British Sign Language users across Lancashire to independently place a video call to police, and other emergency services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
999 BSL, which was created by Sign Language Interactions, is the only provider of remote British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting for 999 calls. It means that deaf BSL users can contact emergency authorities including police, ambulance, fire and coastguard services.
The service is completely free and is available to download as a mobile app or by using the website www.999bsl.co.uk. It will connect callers to online British Sign Language interpreters who will then be able to relay the conversation to whichever emergency service is required. Call handlers aim to respond to all calls within five seconds.
Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable, Chris Rowley said: “Calling 999 for assistance can literally be a matter of life and death. Everyone should feel confident that Lancashire Police will be at the end of the phone, ready to respond to help them. This is a huge step in continuing to ensure that we can respond to calls for help and keep all members of our communities safe.”
Andrew Dewey, Head of Strategy and Business Development for Sign Language Interactions said:
“We are incredibly excited to launch 999 BSL, the UK’s first ever Video Relay Service for calls to the emergency services in British Sign Language. Thanks to this innovative new service, no deaf person will be excluded when they need t make an emergency call, therefore saving lives.”
To use 999 BSL, you can download the mobile app in the app store or you can visit the website at www.999bsl.co.uk for more information.