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When you’re in an emergency situation, and need help, you pick up the phone and call the police, ambulance, or fire brigade. But for many people who are Deaf, or have a hearing loss, talking on the phone is a challenge, or even impossible. This is made much worse if the environment is noisy or the situation is stressful, as they often are. Today’s blog post looks at two ways of contacting emergency services that you can use if you have hearing loss.

The Vodacom SMS Emergency service allows registered users who are Deaf, or hearing or speech impaired, to contact emergency services such as police, fire brigade, ambulance, and sea rescue, by sending a text instead of making a call. You can access these services by SMSing the word ‘Help’ to 082 112. The latest way to quickly access these services is by downloading the Vodacom 112 app on Google Play or Apple AppStore. At the moment this service is only available to Vodacom users. You must be preregistered, so to make sure you have the service active just in case. SMS the word ‘Register’ to 082 112, or click here for more information.

A solution also exists for MTN clients, in partnership with Europ Assistance SA. If you dial *130*3272*29# on your MTN cellphone, you will receive a visual option to select which service you require. This request will be sent on to the relevant service, and help will be dispatched. We’d recommend saving this number in your phone’s address book so that you always have it on hand in case of an emergency. Click here to get more information about this service.

Contacting emergency services is now so much easier for our patients with hearing loss, and members of the hearing impaired and Deaf communities. For more information, contact us, or comment below.