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Providing Faster Aid

The transfer to the single emergency call number 112 is an important reorganisation in the field of internal security, the primary goal of which is to make calling for help simpler and provision of help faster.

It is now easier for people to call for help, as the common number 112 can be used to call emergency medical help, rescue workers and police.

In a critical situation a person does not have to remember a few numbers and be able to choose between them.

 

The transfer to the single emergency call number is one of the most serious developments and biggest projects of the recent time in the field of internal security.

Planning of the transfer to the single emergency call number started in 2010, and it was a programme goal of the Government of the Republic. The necessity of the single emergency call number was also confirmed by a survey ordered by the Ministry of the Interior in 2008, in which 85 per cent of the respondents said that the police, rescue service, emergency medical services and maritime rescue service must be available from one telephone number.

Single emergency call number – 112

As an important condition for the transfer to the single emergency call number, new buildings were built, in which modern working facilities were created. Now operators of all three fields who respond to emergency calls and send out help work in common operating rooms in all regional centres of the Emergency Response Centre. The first common working facilities were built in the Eastern Centre of the Emergency Response Centre in Jõhvi in spring 2012. In spring 2012, the common operating room in the Western Centre in Pärnu was renovated. The Southern  Centre and the Rescue Board moved to new common working facilities in Tartu in December 2014 and in January 2015 in Tallinn. In the Western region the new building is planned to be completed in 2017. Operation of the rescue coordinators of the Emergency Response Centre and the operative information service of the Police and Border Guard Board in the same working facilities increases the speed of information exchange and quality of provision of help.


GIS-112 digital map

As one of the important preliminary projects for the purpose of transfer to the single emergency call number, a new working tool was developed in the Emergency Response Centre, rescue service and ambulances in summer 2014 – the GIS-112 digital map. GIS-112 allows to immediately position location of the person calling for help on the digital map, and to see the closest or fastest providers of help, as well as the fastest route to the location. The Emergency Response Centre sees the position of a person calling from a desk phone with accuracy to the address, and in case of a person calling from a mobile phone with accuracy to the area of location. The information of the entire event is electronically   transmitted from the Emergency Response Centre to the digital map in computers of the ambulance and rescue service vehicles.

The single emergency call number 112 is more useful both to the person requiring help and to the operative service providing help

It is easier to call for help

A person in a critical situation has to remember only one emergency call number – 112. No time is required in an emergency to think of what help and from what number to call. A single call to the number 112 allows to call all required services – emergency medical help, rescue workers or police, and if necessary, more than one providers of help simultaneously.

Faster response to a call

The Emergency Response Centre responds to any call made to the number 112 from any location in Estonia in a faster manner. In a normal situation there is no waiting line in case of the number 112 , as the calls overflow system is in operation – the call is handled by the first available rescue coordinator in any regional centre of the Emergency Response Centre.

Location of the person requiring help is established faster

In case of a call to number 112 the Rescue Response Centre establishes the location of the caller immediately during the call on the new working tool – the digital map of the geo-information system. The rescue coordinator sees the location of a person calling from a desk phone with accuracy to the address, and the location of a person calling from a mobile phone with accuracy to the area. Using additional information obtained from the caller and search capabilities of the digital map, the rescue coordinator establishes as accurate location of the person requiring help as possible.

Handling of emergency calls improves

All rescue coordinators of the Emergency Response Centre are trained to handle equally well all three fields – emergency medical care, rescue and police emergency calls. The Emergency Response Centre responds to all emergency calls and handles them all over Estonia in the same manner, according to established rules and maintaining high quality. In common working facilities, knowledge and skills are constantly complemented by the resolution of cases and exchange of experience in all three fields.

Information exchange and provision of help is faster

Rescue coordinators of the Emergency Response Centre who respond to all emergency calls and send out the ambulance, rescue workers, as well as police officers who send police forces to the location of the event, now work all together in the same operating room in all four regional centres of the Emergency Response Centre. Working in common working facilities and informational space results in faster information exchange, faster dispatch of help and higher quality, which means that help reaches the location of the accident faster. In the case of complex calls all required forces can be sent faster. In addition to electronic information exchange, when working in a common operating room operative information can also be exchanged by oral communication.

Operative resources are used more expediently

Better and faster information exchange in a common operating room, more accurate and better establishment of necessity of help, increasing team spirit and cooperation in a common room of the Emergency Response Centre – all these factors contribute to more efficient use of the resource of the unit dispatched for provision of help. Better and faster information exchange in a common operating room increases efficiency of the use of operative resources in the case of complex events. For example, if the rescue service or emergency medical help reaches the location of the event before the police, and it becomes clear that the police is not required (for example, the person requiring help has left the location or was taken to hospital), the Emergency Response Centre immediately sends feedback to the police, cancelling the dispatch of the patrol. The same scheme also works the other way around if the police patrol arrives at the location before the emergency medical help or rescue service.

Number 110 to be removed from use after a long transitional period

Those who call number 110 will be automatically re-directed to number 112 and this function will still be available for a long time, which means that nobody will be left without help if calling number 110. People are provided with a long and reasonable period for acknowledging the single number 112. After a long transitional period, when the use of 110 will reach minimum levels, this number will be removed from use.

 

Last updated: 8 October 2015