15 Oct 2010

Emergency text service for the deaf

3:51 pm on 15 October 2010

An emergency text service for deaf people has been introduced to improve their access to emergency services.

Deaf people who register with the service will be able to text 111 to contact police, who will also act on behalf of fire and ambulance services.

Police deputy commissioner Viv Rickards says about 500 people have already registered, and police expect 150 texts a week.

A spokesperson for Deaf Aotearoa, Kathryn Heard, says the service, which began operation on Friday, is an historic moment.