Half of 112 emergency calls in Poland bogus?
PR dla Zagranicy
In 2014, over 21 million calls were made to the 112 emergency number in Poland, although almost half of them were found to be false alarms, the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation has revealed.
Photo: Polish Radio/Lukasz Szelemej
“People very often treat 112 as an information directory number,” administration minister Andrzej Halicki underlined in a statement ahead of 112 day.
The figures come ahead of the European 112 Emergency Number Day on 11 February.
The 112 number is a unified emergency number which works in all 28 member states of the European Union.
According to data from the Ministry of Administration and Digitisation, exactly 21,326,746 calls were made to 112, of which over 10 million – 48 percent – were false alarms.
In the case of some 7 million calls (35 percent) to 112 in Poland, people hung up before an operator could answer the call.
“A trained operator, on the basis of information given by the caller, can quickly discern whether the emergency request is true or false,” Halicki said, adding that “thanks to this, emergency services receive only bona fide alarm calls, although when somebody makes a prank call to 112 it takes away the chance for someone who really needs help to get through”.
The 112 emergency number is operational throughout all of Poland, with the ministry informing that the number of emergency call centres has risen and that the average time to get through to the operator has gone down to 11 seconds.
There are currency 17 emergency call centres, or so-called public-safety answering points (PASPs) – one for each province, with two for Mazovia (one each in Warsaw and Radom).
Every operator is required to know at least one foreign language, with operators in Poland knowing a total of 14.
In 2014, Polish PASPs employed 809 operators, of which the most were in Katowice (95) and the least in Opole (25). An average of 1,502 112 calls were taken by Polish emergency operators each month last year. (jb)