A new app has been launched to assist sign language users to contact the emergency services quickly and efficiently.


South Yorkshire Police is backing the app that will allow video calls at the click of a button with a sign language interpreter. 


The ‘999 BSL’ app can be downloaded onto any smart phone or tablet. Alternatively users can access the service through the 999 BSL website www.999bsl.co.uk.


Either online or through the app, those who use British Sign Language to communicate can click which emergency service they require. An interpreter, from an external provider to SYP, will connect with the caller via video link to the required emergency service. The interpreter will then relay the conversation and ensure the call handler has all the required information to send help. 


The app allows users to contact the police, fire, ambulance and coastguard services.               


Superintendent of the Force Crime Room Cherie Buttle said: “As a force we already have in place and support the text message relay service that is avaliable for those who are unable to communicate via telephone.


“We support and welcome this app as it will help to ensure we can send a police response as required to those in need.


“Most of us do not believe that we will need to call or use the emergency services, and often users do not register with services. This app does not require you to register and is available at the click of a button, and therefore is a great asset.” 


To access frequently asked questions around the app, please visit the 999 BSL website https://999bsl.co.uk/faqs/


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