Romania’s sole emergency number 112 turns 20 years old, handled over 300 million calls

Romania’s sole emergency number 112 turns 20 years old, handled over 300 million calls

Over 300 million calls have been answered by operators of the Special Telecommunications Service in the 20 years since 112 became the sole emergency number in Romania. Last year, there were nearly 10.5 million calls, of which 53.82% were emergencies. 

“For 20 years, 112 has been the unique emergency number in Romania, during which time more than 300 million calls have been handled by operators of the Special Telecommunications Service. Operationalized in 2004, the National Unique System for Emergency Calls has proven to be a simple, efficient, and fast way for alerting emergency services. Two decades ago, 112 replaced the numbers 955, 961, and 981, which could be called individually for specialized intervention agencies, contributing to the efficient, coordinated, and collaborative management of dangerous situations throughout the country and to saving lives,” STS representatives said in a press release cited by News.ro.

The authorities also released some facts regarding the calls handled. These show Gorj County, in southern Romania, has the highest percentage of calls that are not emergencies, 66.79%, followed by Covasna County, with 63.40%, and Argeş County, with 59.50%. In fact, a man from Argeş called without having an emergency almost 31,000 times over the course of a year, with the processing time for these calls equating to almost 5 days of continuous conversations.

If in 2004, over 90% of calls were not emergencies, currently the percentage has dropped below 50. 

“It is essential for the population to realize that any call to 112 that is not an emergency means precious seconds are lost at the expense of handling real emergencies, i.e., to immediately provide support for those in need,” STS representatives convey.

In contrast, a high degree of proper use of the emergency service, compared to the total calls to 112, is recorded in the Bucharest-Ilfov region. 

In 2023, STS operators of the 112 Emergency Service handled 10,489,979 calls, of which 53.82% were emergencies. The remaining 46.18% were calls that did not require the intervention of agencies: Ambulance, Police, ISU-SMURD, Gendarmerie, or Salvamont (the mountain rescue service). 

Most of the emergency cases under the competence of the 112 Service received in the 12 months of last year were transferred to the Ambulance.

The most complex events of 2023, from the perspective of STS operators, were emergencies that required significant mobilization of resources for intervention, such as explosions, large-scale fires, and extreme weather phenomena, generating hundreds of calls in a few minutes. Such cases require gradual but quick, efficient, and coordinated measures to supplement 112 operators at local, regional, and national levels. 

radu@romania-insider.com

(Photo source: Cateyeperspective | Dreamstime.com)

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