Beersheba residents take shelter in a stairwell 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)
The Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons in Israel (DPII) said on
Thursday that it has received dozens of complaints from deaf residents of
Beersheba about malfunctions with their vibrating beepers, making it impossible
for them to know when Code Red rocket alarms are sounded.
which are provided by the Home Front Command for the deaf community in Israel,
are activated as rocket threats are detected and vibrate to signal the emergency
to its user. They are also set to function according to the individual’s
According to the DPII, which has been receiving messages from
the deaf community in Beersheba, beepers stopped working at eight on Wednesday
morning. In other southern municipalities, individuals said that the devices
only vibrated a minute after occurrences.
“After all the preparations
that the Home Front Command made with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, we
still find ourselves with no solution. Deaf people in the south remain in
danger,” DPII chairwoman Yael Kakon said.
“Beepers don’t function but the
Home Front Command has no official answer to the deaf community,” she
Following the reports, the Home Front Command and the company
Beeper have agreed to make a repair station available in Ashdod for deaf people
in the area.
Last month, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and its
Center for Emergency Response Research had held an emergency training session
for deaf people at the university.
Dr. Limor Aharonson- Daniel, the head
of the department of emergency medicine at BGU who oversaw the event, told The
Jerusalem Post in an interview before the event that issues with the beepers are
ongoing and have occurred several times in the past.
“They have learned
that you can’t trust the beeper, so they just don’t use it anymore,” she
“They are completely exposed to the danger. Well, some of them have
all sorts of arrangements with their neighbors for example, who will let them
know when an alarm goes off. So if it’s a 45- second warning, you may find
someone nice who will do it, but if it’s a matter of 15 seconds, no one will
take the time.”