How does the Vodacom 112 Emergency Service app help speech and hearing-impaired patients?

If you are a Vodacom customer and you dial 112 from your mobile phone, you will be put through to a world-class emergency contact centre, capable of dispatching the nearest police, traffic, fire, rescue and medical assistance response services.

Best of all, that service is easily accessible for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Vodacom first partnered with ER24 in 2017 for the delivery of 112 services. It was early realised that there was a barrier for people with communication barriers. “As an organisation that aims to include all members of society through our different products, we took a critical look at the market and recognised most emergency services that were available at the time were predominantly accessible via voice calls only,” says Karen Smit, Principal Specialist: Specific Needs in Vodacom’s Commercial Business Unit.

Vodacom and ER24 launched the 082 112 SMS Emergency Service in 2018 and took a further step forward with the 112 Emergency Service App – giving those with hearing and speech impairments access to real help, real fast, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Why choose ER24? “ER24 uses a best-in-class Computer Aided Dispatch System,” says Smit. “The call centre teams are well equipped through the ER24 Training Academy in addition to increased staff development opportunities.”

ER24 consists of a  team of over 270 highly trained and dedicated staff members, using sophisticated dispatching software, mapping technology and medical databases. Overall the  ER24 Contact Centres manage over 1 000 000 calls each month.

In order to use the service, Vodacom’s deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, deaf and deafblind customers must first download the Vodacom 112 Emergency Service App from the Google Play Store or Apple iStore, then register their mobile number and accept the Terms and Conditions and the Vodacom Privacy Statement.

The service enables registered customers to request help by contacting the ER24 Emergency Service Contact Centre via the Emergency Service App. Customers can request emergency services such as police, ambulance, fire and sea rescue for themselves or for others.

Click on the Help Chat button, then indicate if the emergency is for yourself or for someone else. Continue to follow the prompts from there on. The ER24 Emergency Resource Officer on the other end of the line will request or dispatch the relevant emergency service.

Vodacom’s innovative 112 emergency SMS and app services are just a part of the company’s philosophy to grow into their customers’ needs. “Vodacom is continuously looking at ways to ensure that we eliminate any communication barriers by providing accessible and innovative solutions for our customers with disabilities. This is in line with our purpose of connecting people to a better future and ensuring that we build a digitally inclusive society.”

The partnership is also part of ER24’s customised contact centre services for stakeholders to integrate their emergency protocols using our highly skilled staff and leading contact centre software. These high-quality services give ER24 clients peace of mind that highly specialised help is available at the press of a button.