During the recent devastating floods in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, emergency response teams faced numerous challenges in providing assistance to those affected. Among them were members of the deaf community, who required specialised assistance to deal with the crisis.
In Italy, support to deaf people is usually provided through the national 1-1-2 service, with the control room located in Piedmont. To bridge the communication gap and connect deaf people affected by the flood with their caregivers, the multimedia functionalities of FlagMii® EML were used.
Tools offered by FlagMii EML to support the deaf
The use of FlagMii® EML within the Italian 1-1-2 emergency service to solve particularly critical situations is nothing new. However, in the case of the massive flooding in the coastal and inland areas of Emilia-Romagna in May 2023, the platform was deployed for an exceptional support flow. Deaf citizens needed to interact with specialised caregivers to solve scenarios not necessarily related to emergency situations, but in general to receive support in a particularly crowded crisis context such as the flooded areas.
Photo: FlagMii® EML
The 1-1-2 operations centre located in Piedmont is the national reference point for emergency services for deaf people. In this case, however, it was invested with the role of facilitator between the deaf citizen and the professionals able to support them. The operators were in charge of establishing a direct video link connecting the deaf person with rescuers, healthcare staff and assistants specialised in this type of caller. This approach allowed for a more personalised and efficient handling of the situation, ensuring that the specific needs of the deaf community were understood and addressed appropriately.
All of the features offered by FlagMii® EML, including video conferencing and chat, were utilised in the service to enable the real-time exchange of distress information, instructions on how to behave during the flood, and immediately understandable visual references. In addition, Italian Sign Language (LIS) interpreters were included in the videoconferencing sessions to break down language barriers and ensure fast and accurate communication.
Embracing FlagMii® EML for Comprehensive Emergency Support
The importance of using FlagMii® EML during the flooding in Emilia-Romagna is evident. the platform’s features, specifically designed for emergency call centres, ensure efficient and effective management of critical situations. With its integrated functionalities including geolocation services, continuous video interaction, file sharing, real-time chat functionality and automatic translation capabilities, FlagMii® EML offers a comprehensive and all-encompassing assistance platform. This allows call-takers to cater for the diverse communication capabilities of citizens, ensuring that no one is left behind in times of crisis.
Photo: FlagMii® EML
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The successful use of FlagMii® EML during the flooding in Emilia-Romagna demonstrated the profound impact that innovative technology can have in unexpected emergency response scenarios. By putting deaf citizens in direct contact with their caregivers, exploiting multimedia communication tools and breaking down language barriers through sign language interpretation, FlagMii® EML proved to be a vital resource for providing efficient and inclusive support.
This unique solution demonstrated the transformative potential of technology in bridging gaps, promoting effective communication and ensuring the safety and well-being of all citizens during times of crisis.