THE ambulance service that covers South Derbyshire has revealed it is launching a new scheme which will allow deaf people to text emergences to 999.
East Midlands Ambulance Service detailed how it was part of the national emergency SMS service – a scheme that is aimed at people who have hearing or speaking problems and lets them text for help in an emergency.
It has also revealed that it has met with the South Derbyshire deaf community to respond to questions about how and when to make an emergency call and to listen to ideas that could improve services.
Joy Weldin, Derbyshire paramedic and service delivery manager said: “We are part of the national emergency SMS service which lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it is passed to ambulance or the other emergency services.
“Simply by sending an SMS message to 999 people can call for help and we are able to reply to them.
“However, to do this, they need to have registered with emergency SMS first and so this event was another opportunity for us to raise awareness and encouraged people who would benefit from the scheme to sign up.”
The service had information leaflets on hand and were available before and after the presentations to talk with those taking part.
Paramedic team leader Sally-Anne Else, based at Willow Row in Derby, delivered a presentation to those in attendance.
EMAS Community Engagement Officer, Gulnaz Katchi said: “We were on hand to respond to questions and listen to ideas that could help us improve the services we provide.
“EMAS and the local community can benefit from talking with each other - our community engagement work last year resulted in the introduction of the hearing induction loop onto our new ambulance vehicles.”
Other healthcare organisations attended the event including Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Community Health Services, Derby Clinical Commissioning Group and Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust.