Emergency text service

Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are launching a new text messaging service to help people with hearing and speech impairments get help in an emergency.

Jan 31, 2008
By Paul Jacques

Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are launching a new text messaging service to help people with hearing and speech impairments get help in an emergency.

The service is designed to enable them to contact the police and fire service in Lancashire without needing help from anybody else.

It has been introduced in response to, and with input from, the deaf and hearing and speech impaired communities.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan, said: “Lancashire Constabulary has come a long way in recognising and meeting the needs of the deaf community and it is our aim to make it as easy as possible for everyone to contact us. The Constabulary now has a dedicated Deaf Liaison Officer who works closely with the deaf community, as well as a team of officers who are trained in sign language.“We are proud to see the introduction of the SMS text service and we will continue to work closely with our partners on similar projects to make sure people who have hearing and speech impairments can contact us directly in an emergency.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue’s Chief Officer, Peter Holland, added: “Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has always recognised the need to provide people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired with a way to access our services in an emergency and have had Typetalk and Minicom facilities in place for many years.

“However, for some time we have been aware that people are much more used to using text messaging and would prefer to contact us in this way.”

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