SMS locator, video and mobile emergency - FlagMii EML

The rescue that took place on 27 March 2022 in the Mugello territory (Italy) brought to light important issues involved in emergency management. The incident involved three hikers who had lost their way at night along a trail in the Apennine Mountains, with a condition of hypothermia and one person in the group unable to walk due to a sprain. To complicate the situation, the hikers involved were deaf.

Such an operational context is perfect for evaluating the multifunctional features of FlagMii EML technology, such as geolocation and tools for communicating with people who are unable to speak (due to a pre-existing physical condition or trauma resulting from the incident).

Geolocation of deaf people

Rescuing deaf people carries several difficulties – first and foremost determining the location of the emergency site. In normal circumstances, the caller can give an explanation of the place of departure, a verbal description of the route taken and confirmations of any useful landmarks.
A deaf person requires specific assistance and more effective technological support.

During the accident that occurred in March in a vast mountainous and wooded area near Vicchio (Florence, Italy), the geographical coordinates were provided directly by the smartphone of one of the hikers. This helped to anticipate as far as possible the intervention of the Mountain Rescue Service.
FlagMii® EML performs an SMS-based geolocation meaning the retrieval of the coordinates does not require a specific application to be pre-installed on the smartphone but is triggered by a regular text message. The SMS is also used to set up a direct link between the control room and the caller.

Thus, even if interaction with the deaf person may be more time-consuming than usual, the rescue can still be sent promptly and accurately to the coordinates provided.
FlagMii/SMS geolocation cuts out the extra step required in sending coordinates, which is an additional benefit for callers who may have difficulty communicating with the rescue operator.

FlagMii® EML and the Italian Single Emergency Number for deaf people


FlagMii® EML is the nationwide platform adopted by the Italian rescue service for deaf people, due to its functionalities that include:

  • the assessment of the incident through written cascading questions that are accompanied by pictograms;
  • the transmission of live videos from the scene of the incident, which reduces the need for verbal dialogue and allows the operator to autonomously understand the severity of the case and the features of the location;
  • video conferencing with sign language interpreters who can interact with the deaf person via smartphone screen.


FlagMii deaf

In addition, the platform is integrated with computer-aided dispatch (CAD) platforms used by the control rooms and thus allows an organised data flow when several authorities must interact with each other, as is the case in mountain rescue.


1 – The control room sends an SMS with a simple link to the smartphone of the deaf person.

2 – The deaf person clicks on the link and thus activates a direct connection between the control room and their phone.

3 – The geographical coordinates are sent back to the control room and appear automatically on the CAD integrated map, without the need for any verbal communication.

4 – Through the Emergency Mobile Link, the operator can communicate with the deaf person using a dedicated text chat.

5 – The operator can conduct case assessment with guided questionnaires accompanied by visual images, which are faster and more effective than text interaction alone.

6 – All the data collected is sent to the software platforms that are integrated with FlagMii® EML, even in a scenario involving several authorities.