Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dial 112 in any emergency

Is it really a Pan-India single emergency helpline number?

Sixteen states and Union territories have joined a pan-India network of the single emergency helpline number “112” on which immediate assistance can be sought by people.

The 16 states and UTs are Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadar Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, a home ministry statement said.

The ERSS is an integration of police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the single number “112”.

To access the emergency services, a person can dial 112 on a phone or press the power button of a smart phone three times quickly to send a panic call to the Emergency Response Centre. In case of a normal phone, a long press of the “5” or “9” key will activate the panic call function.

To ensure safety of women, a SHOUT feature has been introduced in ‘112 India’ mobile app to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity apart from the immediate assistance from Emergency Response Centre. The SHOUT feature is exclusively available to women.

People can also log onto the ERSS website for the state and lodge emergency Email or send SOS alert to state ERC; they can use “112”' India mobile app, which is available free on Google Playstore and Apple store.

The single number for various emergency services is similar to the emergency number “911” in the US.

The question arises why only 16 states? Why can’t the government come out with an ordinance and make it an All-India number? 

There should be no politics when it comes to emergencies. 

Health care should be above politics as it is a matter of life and death.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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