'Ringvaade': 112 emergency line awareness good, should be maintained

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The 112 emergency number is widely-known and well-thought-of, emergency center (Häirekeskus) director Kätlin Alvela says.

Speaking to ETV current affairs show "Ringvaade" Wednesday evening, Alvela noted that Thursday marks international 112 day – the number is either the prime emergency number or redirects to the national emergency number across Europe, much of Asia, North America, much of Latin America and in Australia and New Zealand.

Alvela said that the profile of the number still needs to be kept front and center; simply calling the number is sufficient as over-the-phone first aid, for instance, can be issued even if the caller is a minor.

"Ringvaade" provided a concrete example of this from last year, when an 11-year-old girl had to call 112 after her mother was seriously injured in a smash caused by a male drunk-driver who had crossed lanes into oncoming traffic.

112 is the emergency number and was introduced in Estonia upon independence and following a Council of Europe recommendation, becoming the sole, integrated emergency number for all services, i.e. ambulance, fire, police, coastguard, from 2015. Operators speak English.

Additionally, 1247 can be called for general, non-emergency issues, both relating to the coronavirus – which it was originally set up to deal with – and for road traffic and environmental issue.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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