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Emergency numbers accessibility for disabled peoples’: Case of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Vahid Ghanbari, PhD, Ali Ardalan, MD, PhD, Amir Nejati, MD, Leili Rostamnia, PhD, Ghasem Mousavi, PhD


Introduction: An emergency is a serious, unexpected situation which may lead to injury, loss of life and damage to property and often needs urgent interventions. Emergency calls can bring urgent life-saving intervention in such situations. Although access to emergency lines for all persons of a society is one of the effectiveness indexes of this critical service, in most countries, these lines are not accessible for disabled people.

Case presentation: This study examined the issue of emergency number accessibility for disabled people in the I.R. of Iran. Two persons who had been poisoned by carbon monoxide died because their deaf-mute father could not communicate with the Emergency Medical Service Center (EMSC). This led to the Emergency Medical Service Management Center (EMSMC), in collaboration with Iranian Society of Deaf People Family (ISDPF), developing a system that is a combination of short message system (SMS) and location-based information (LBI) to facilitate the communication of such disabled persons with EMSMCs. The system did not receive any emergency message until this report is provided.

Conclusion: Because emergency call service has not been available for disabled people in Iran until now, emergency service organizations should take a proactive approach in developing a reliable and easy to use a method with the current technologies. These organizations should also provide information about the installed systems for end-users.


emergency, emergency service, communication, emergency number, disabled groups, deaf people, SOS phone, location-based information

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