Calls to emergency services

pic of couple making emergency call

If you find yourself in an emergency which is either life threatening or where time is critical, you can contact fire services, police or ambulance:

  • by TTY - dial 106
  • by internet relay and ask for Triple Zero (000)
  • by captioned relay – and ask for Triple Zero (000)
  • by SMS relay – text 0423 677 767
  • by video relay – login to Skype and contact one of the NRS contact names, or
  • by ordinary phone - dial 1800 555 727 and ask for Triple Zero (000).

106 TTY emergency service

The 106 service is the world's first national text-based emergency service. It provides access for TTY users to fire, police and ambulance services and is available 24 hours a day, every day. If you rely on a TTY to make calls, you can dial 106 in an emergency. 106 calls have priority over other TTY calls.

  • Simply dial 106. This is a free number which connects you to the relay officer.
  • You will be asked if you want police (type PPP), fire (type FFF) or ambulance (type AAA). Note: Speak and Read users just need to say "police", "fire" or "ambulance" to the relay officer.
  • The relay officer will dial the correct service and stay on line to relay your conversation with the emergency service.
  • Because a TTY is connected to a fixed line, the emergency service can locate where you care calling from - you will be asked to confirm your address.
  • The 106 service can only be dialled from a TTY. It cannot be reached by:
    • an ordinary phone
    • text message (SMS) on a mobile phone, or
    • internet relay (see below).

See our videos on how to make an emergency call using 106:

Emergency calls via internet relay

If you are using internet relay, you can request Triple Zero (000) - the voice emergency service. Your call will be given priority over other non-emergency relay calls. 

  • You will be asked if you want police, fire or ambulance.
  • The relay officer will dial the correct service and stay on the line to relay the call to the emergency service.

Note that when you make an emergency call through internet relay:

  • you will need to provide your location since we cannot automatically identify where you are (unlike a call to 106 or to 1800 555 727). If you can't provide your location, for example you pass out while making the call, the emergency service may not be able to find you.
  • the call may not be as reliable as a call using a fixed line such as a TTY. Internet relay calls have the same reliability as the internet generally. You might not always be able to connect to the internet or calls might occasionally drop out.

See our videos on how to make an emergency call using internet relay:

Captioned relay

If you are using captioned relay, you can request Triple Zero (000) - the voice emergency service. Your call will be given priority over non-emergency relay calls. 

  • You will be asked if you want police, fire or ambulance.
  • The relay officer will dial the correct service and stay on the line to relay the call to the emergency service.

Note that when you make an emergency call through captioned relay:

  • you will need to provide your location since we cannot automatically identify where you are
  • the call may not be as reliable as a call using a fixed line such as a TTY.

SMS relay

You can make a call to emergency services through SMS relay.

You should send an SMS to the NRS at 0423 677 767. Make sure that you include in your initial message:

  • Triple Zero (000) as the number you want to call – the NRS computer system will then recognise your text as an emergency message and will give it priority over all other non-emergency calls as soon as the message is received
  • the particular emergency service you need – police, fire brigade or ambulance
  • the exact address or location of the emergency.

When the call is answered, the relay officer will place the call to Triple Zero. They will stay on the line to relay your call to the emergency service.

Please note that SMS relay is the least-reliable form of call you can make through the NRS, due to the nature of SMS technology. Thus SMS relay should be a last resort for an emergency call. TTY calls to 106, or internet relay calls to Triple Zero, are likely to be more reliable. Remember also that it is only once your call is received by the NRS that it receives call priority.

See our Auslan video on how to make an emergency call using SMS relay.

Video relay

You can make a call to emergency services by contacting one of the available NRS contact names on Skype and requesting Triple Zero (000).

You will be asked if you want police, fire or ambulance, and your exact location.

The relay officer will place the call to Triple Zero. They will stay on the line to relay your call to the emergency service.

Note that there won’t be any queue priority for video relay calls to emergency services, so we would encourage users to ring 106 on a TTY, or ask for Triple Zero through internet relay in any emergency rather than use video relay. Also video relay, unlike other call options, is only open during certain hours.

See our Auslan video on how to make an emergency call using video relay. 

Speak and Listen emergency calls

There is a separate emergency call procedure for Speak and Listen callers who use an ordinary phone or mobile rather than a TTY.

  • Dial 1800 555 727 and then ask for Triple Zero (000).
    Note that calls to this number are given priority over other NRS calls.
  • You will be asked if you want police, fire or ambulance.
  • The relay officer will dial the correct service and stay on the line to help you, if necessary, communicate with the emergency service.

If you make the call from a landline, the emergency service can trace your location (which may be important, for example, if you pass out before confirming your address). If you ring from a mobile and can't provide your location, the emergency service may not be able to find you.

Note: You can of course ring Triple Zero (000) directly if you feel confident that you can be understood by emergency services.

Tips for emergency calls

  • Always ask for the service you need - police, fire or ambulance.
  • Don't hang up. Wait for a reply from the emergency service.
  • Be ready to explain the emergency.
  • You will need to state or confirm your location. This will help route the call to the closest emergency services operator as quickly as possible.
  • The relay officer will stay on the line to relay your conversation. The emergency service will ask you questions and decide on the best way to help you.

Your privacy

The NRS respects your privacy and treats all calls with confidentiality. However, all 106 and 000 emergency calls are recorded so that emergency services such as the police can track events if necessary. See more on call privacy.

Subsidised smoke alarm schemes

There are low-cost, deaf-friendly smoke alarm schemes in most Australian states. Find out more. 

Make an internet relay call Make a captioned relay call

24-hour relay call numbers

  • TTY/voice calls

    133 677

  • Speak & Listen

    1300 555 727

  • SMS relay

    0423 677 767

Make other relay calls
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Having the NRS available means that now my wife isn’t so worried to leave me because I can contact the outside, especially in an emergency. It’s a great comfort.

Bill

Laurieton, NSW