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911 for the Deaf in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica News – 911 is hoping to soon implement a system that will allow the deaf to communicate alerts to the emergency services for police help or an ambulance.

deaf people 911The authorities don’t know how much it will cost to develop and use such a system but they say no matter the cost it is essential for this vulnerable population.

Gerardo Obando was in a car accident in June and suffered several strokes.

He wanted to call 911 but there were no interpreters around so he wasn’t able to. He recounts feeling very helpless.

The new method should allow text messages, indicating the address and what happened, to be sent to 911 by early 2017. Once received the dispatcher will respond back “ok” to confirm receipt of the message and help will be on the way.

From 2004 to 2013 there was a way for the deaf to tell police about an emergency by using a Telephone Device for the Deaf, or TDD.

This, however, had a high cost and not many could buy it.

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