The National Relay Service

Depending on individual requirements, the National Relay Service (NRS) offers various call types assisted by specially trained staff called Relay Officers. Subscribers can use the NRS for all or some of their calls, including emergency calls.

If you can hear but can be hard to understand over the phone, the three call services below may help you.

Voice Relay

In Voice Relay calls – you speak directly with the other person.

The relay officer is on the line to re-speak any of your words as required.

SMS Relay – Text and Listen

In SMS Relay (Text and Listen) calls you type your side of the conversation on your mobile phone and listen to the other person speaking.

TTY – Type and Listen

In Teletypewriter (TTY) – Type and Listen calls, you type your side of the conversation using a TTY and a relay officer will speak your typed words to the other party. You can listen to the other person’s reply using the handset of the TTY.

Emergency Calls (000)

In life-threatening or time-critical situations, Laryngectomees can contact Emergency services through the NRS. NRS users are encouraged to contact emergency services using another NRS call option.
Callers to emergency services need to:

  • Ask for the service they need—police, fire or ambulance.
  • State or confirm their location.
  • Be ready to explain the emergency.


Calls to Triple Zero (000) can be requested by users of the NRS through any call option, bearing in mind that connection issues can affect the reliability of all types of calls, including calls to emergency services. The designated TTY emergency call number (106) is available to TTY users.

For a detailed step-by-step explanation about how to make emergency calls using different NRS call options, read the instruction sheets:

The CNR (caller no response) initiative was introduced in June 2002.

It is activated when a caller does not respond to the Triple Zero operator’s question: “Emergency. Police? Fire? Ambulance?”. Callers are asked to press 55 if they cannot speak and require emergency assistance. Pressing 55 quickly ensures that the call is, by default, connected to the police by the emergency call service operator.