A Nottinghamshire Police volunteer who created the innovative Pegasus system will be visiting the House of Commons today (Monday 23rd June).
Pegasus is a PIN-based system allowing people who need support with emergency calls to simply quote ‘Pegasus’ and their personal PIN when they call.
On quoting their PIN, the call operator will have access to details about the caller’s disability or impairment and their home address. This allows emergency services to help the caller in the most appropriate way to suit their needs.
Chris Channon, the creator of Pegasus, was nominated by Nottinghamshire Police to attend the Lord Ferrers Awards, which recognises outstanding contributions to volunteering in policing.
Chris, who has cerebral palsy, has worked with the force since 2005 to develop the system, which is currently in its sixth operational year.
Chris said: “I’ve lived independently in the community for over 30 years. During this time I’ve needed to call 999 on several occasions - mainly to report anti-social behaviour.
“However, my calls were not always dealt with properly because I’m speech-impaired and I either couldn’t say what I needed to say or I was mistaken for a nuisance caller.
“It has been without doubt the most difficult thing I’ve done in my life and it’s only now after almost 10 years of work that people are beginning to see its value.
“I’m very proud to be attending the House of Commons and hope that Pegasus will continue to be rolled out across the UK.”
The system has also been adopted by other forces around the country, and is also used by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue.
Chief Inspector Tracey Lovegrove said: “Chris has worked tirelessly with us for nearly a decade to both design and promote the system.
“It has made a huge difference in how we communicate and provide a specialist service to members of the public who would otherwise find it very difficult to make that call.
“We currently have over 400 users of Pegasus in Nottinghamshire, with this figure growing steadily as people become aware of the system.
“I can’t praise Chris enough for his achievement – ten years in the making and he is just at the start of a great success story.”
There are also two other police forces currently looking at the possibility of adopting Pegasus in their areas.