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Control measure
Use Next Generation Text (NGT) service

Control measure knowledge

The Next Generation Text (NGT) service, previously Text Relay/Text Direct is used by customers who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or speech-impaired and use a text phone to make or receive telephone calls. The call handling agency provides a unique code for Text Relay customers to make emergency calls. Customers who cannot use voice-based systems will use a text phone to make and receive telephone calls. A text phone can be thought of as a standard telephone but with the handset replaced by a keyboard and display.

Two text phones can communicate over a standard telephone call. The characters that are typed on the keyboard of one text phone are transmitted to the other text phone as tones in real time - each character is sent as it is typed and the user does not have to press Enter to send the text. If one party does not have a text phone the call has to be made by the Text Relay service.

Text Relay is a network based service that BT/CHA provides to customers who need to use text phones. Any customer making a text phone call, or wishing to communicate with a text phone user, will use Text Relay. No registration is required. The call will be answered by a 999 emergency adviser who will be joined at the same time by a Text Relay Assistant. The Relay Assistant will translate the conversation by reading the typed text from the text phone user to the voice user and typing their spoken reply.

The BT/CHA 999 Adviser will announce to the emergency services that the call is from a text user. It is possible to receive such calls from mobile phones but in these circumstances the customer will be connected in voice.

If the call is made from a BT/CHA customer, name and address details will be provided. However, this may not be the case for customers of other call providers.

If for any reason the Text Relay service is extremely busy a call may arrive with the BT /CHA 999 Adviser without the Text Relay Assistant in conference.

(PECS Code of Practice, Draft 4, March 2014)

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have equipment and procedures in place to allow them to receive calls via text phone or the text relay service

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Receive and process calls via text phone or the text relay service according to service procedures