Contacting Emergency Services

The usual ways of getting help in an emergency may not be available to someone with a hearing loss. These apps empower people who cannot call 999, to be able to contact the emergency services themselves, if they ever ned to:


    TapSOS is a non-verbal way to connect with the Emergency Services.

    Useful for:

    • d/Deaf, and those with hearing loss
    • non-verbal, or a stroke or diabetic attack affects speech
    • vulnerable - you don't want an attacker to know you are calling for help
    • your airway is blocked - choking, asthma, or allergic reaction

    You may not think you need it, but you never know what situation you'll find yourself in. If you can't speak, you can't ring 999.

    TapSOS allows you to contact to Emergency Services without having to speak on the phone.

    Using the app, alerts are sent straight to the United Kingdom’s 999 Emergency Call Handlers.

    Simply download the app from:

    Android: Google Play

    Apple: App Store

    Then create a profile, which is stored on your smartphone. This provides the basic information required by the Emergency Call Handler.

    When you use the app in an emergency, you select which service you need by tapping an image. There are then questions, in line with the Emergency Services protocols, to establish what the emergency is. These are answered using a series of visual icons, designed to help the TapSOS user in a stressful situation.


    • The built in GPS function will automatically locate the device, and if needed, allow the user to manually change the location for even greater accuracy
    • Create a medical profile which is stored on your device. This quickly gives First Responders a valuable insight into your medical history
    • Option to switch to a voice call if you choose, or if someone else arrives and you'd rather they carried on the conversation
    • You can practise making calls on the app, so you are ready for any emergency.

    You can see instructional videos provided by TapSOS here.

    999 BSL

      999 BSL is an emergency Video Relay Service, for use by British Sign Language (BSL) users in an emergency situation.

      It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year, providing an on-demand remote service by fully qualified and registered British Sign Language interpreters.

      The app allows BSL users to click on a single button to make an emergency call and be connected to a British Sign Language interpreter working remotely. The interpreter will relay the conversation between deaf and hearing parties in real time.

      Simply download the app from:

      Android: Google Play

      Apple: App Store


      • This service is also available on web-based platforms, such as laptops and pcs (click here)
      • There is a call back option, so the Emergency Services can call back a BSL user. They are connected via the Sign Language Interactions call centre, where a BSL Interpreter will relay the details of the call the the user
      • The service is regulated by Ofcom and funded by Communication Providers

        For more information, please visit the 999 BSL website here.