ECAS - new service allowing SMS to 112 launched
13th January 2012
The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources launched the pilot of a new SMS service primarily aimed for deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the Republic of Ireland where users can use SMS technology to communicate with the emergency services. However the service is available for and open to all users.
Similar trials have or are being held in the UK, France, Sweden, Netherlands and Spain.
The Pilot 112 SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the Republic of Ireland send an SMS text message to the Emergency Call Answering Service (ECAS) where it will be passed to An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance service, the Fire service, or the Irish Coastguard. The ECAS operator will act as a relay between the texter and the required emergency service.
The trial will see the bringing into use of the SMS short code 112 by Vodafone, O2 , Meteor, emobile and Three – Postphone and Tesco mobile hope to be joining the Pilot shortly.
Information regarding the trial is on ComReg’s web site www.112.ie and in particular where end users of the service will be asked to register and provide information about themselves including location information. This information will be passed on to the emergency services when an SMS is received by the ECAS.
Upon entering and sending the 112 short code on a phone that has been registered, the SMS will be received within a text window on an Operator Workstation within an ECAS Control Centre. The ECAS Operator will then conduct a text conversation with the “caller” to identify their location and the service required. They would then contact the requested Emergency Service and act as a Relay between the “caller” and the Emergency Service to facilitate the dispatch of the required response.
In order to highlight the availability of this service to the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired community, a television program will be aired on RTE television this Sunday 15th January @ 12.15pm on RTE1 entitled “Hands On”.
For your information please see link to the press release issued on the DCENR website.