All-in-one emergency number '112' to kick-off in 14 states, UTs
In an attempt to make emergency services faster, 14 states and Union Territories in India will be getting a single emergency number '112' on February 19, something similar to the 911 service in the US. The single emergency number is brought by the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), which is a consolidation of police (100), fire (101), health (108), and women (1090) helpline numbers.
Persons owing normal phones can long press 5 or 9
If a person is in distress, he/she has to dial '112' on the phone or press the smartphone's power button three times quickly and it will activate a panic call to the Emergency Response Center (ERC). If the person does not own a smartphone but a normal phone, he or she can long press 5 or 9 key to activate the panic call.
People can send email or SOS alert on ERSS website
Other than calling from the phones, people can file an emergency email or send SOS alert by logging onto the ERSS website for the state. There is also a '112' India mobile app available on Apple Store and Google Play Store. The service will be made operational in 14 states including UP, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
ERC in each state will have trained call-takers and dispatchers
The single emergency number system is a Union Home Ministry sponsored project and an ERC will be set up in every state. The ERC will consist of trained call-takers and dispatchers who can handle emergency requests, which require assistance from police, health department, fire and rescue, among other emergency services. 112 can be used for various kind of emergencies, like fire, health, etc.
ERCs connected to DCCs to facilitate emergency response vehicles
An official explained to media that the ERCs are connected to the District Command Centers (DCCs), which will facilitate the emergency response vehicles and assistance/response to victims. The ERSS is designed as a common protocol, which will be managed by each state and Union Territory.
112 India app has 'SHOUT' feature for women and children
Further, the 112 India app designed by the ERCC has a special 'SHOUT' feature for women and children through which registered volunteers in the vicinity of the victim will be alerted. The Home Ministry has chosen the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) as total service provider for the project. C-DAC will be supporting the states and UTs in setting up the ERSS.
Center allotting Rs. 321.69 crore for ERSS in states, UTs
Also, C-DAC was the one which developed complete ERSS solutions. For setting up the ERSS, the Central government is allotting Rs. 321.69 crore to the states and UTs as part of the Nirbhaya scheme. Meanwhile, the service is already operational in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland. An official told media that the single emergency will be gradually rolled out across the country.