Norway Tests Emergency SMS Messages for Deaf, Hard of Hearing
Monday, July 09, 2018 | Comments

The control system in Norway now supports a pilot emergency short message service (SMS) from Frequentis for users who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disorders in Norway.

Emergency SMS (eSMS) is a newly launched safety service for text-based communication in an emergency, providing the ability to send an SMS directly to 1-1-0, 1-1-2 and 1-1-3 in Norway. The eSMS pilot project is led by Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) in cooperation with the National Police Directorate and the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

The two-year pilot will allow DSB and the emergency services to understand how the solution is used and how operational routines work. This will provide the basis for assessing how such a service could be organized in the future. eSMS will not replace the 1412 text service for emergency calls via text phone, but will work in parallel for a pilot period.

The Frequentis integrated communication and control system (ICCS) has been operational within Nødnett since 2016. The system can now support the new eSMS service, allowing pre-registered users to log emergencies by text. The system can receive messages sent to emergency numbers and will alert the ICCS operator. Messages can then be addressed with a series of questions via the ICCS or in Outlook to ensure enough information about the incident is gathered.

“Contacting the emergency services is crucial in an emergency, but not everyone can make a voice call,” said Cecilie Daae, DSB general director. “Emergency SMS makes everyday life safer for citizens who are deaf, hard of hearing or impacted by speech disorders to directly contact skilled operators at the emergency center in an emergency situation.”

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