Emergency SMS is part of the standard 999 service, designed specifically for people with hearing loss or difficulty with speech.
Since September 2009, the Emergency SMS service has successfully handled hundreds of real emergency calls.
How do I use Emergency SMS?
To use this service you need to register first: Text ‘register’ to 999 and then follow the instructions you are sent.
In an emergency text 999 and give the following details:
- Who? (police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard)
- What? (Briefly describe the problem),
- Where? (Describe exactly where it is happening, include postcode or landmark information).
What happens next?
The emergency service will either ask for more information or will tell you that help is on the way.
Don’t assume that your message has been received until the emergency service sends a message back.
This service works throughout the UK on all mobile networks, but it cannot be used from abroad.
Do not send test or non-emergency texts to this number!
999 BSL is the UK’s first ever video relay service (VRS) connecting deaf people to the emergency services (police, ambulance, fire and coastguard) via a remote British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.
Video relay enables deaf callers across the UK to make video calls to the emergency services in their own language – British Sign Language – for the first time ever, without needing to use English or ask a hearing person to make a call to 999 on their behalf.
The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and is completely free of charge to deaf users.
How do I use 999 BSL?
The app is available for download via the App Store or Google Play.
Find out more on the 999 BSL website
If you are deaf and/or have hearing difficulties and need urgent help with your mental health you can get support 24 hours a day.
Click the link below to find help in your area: