Head of Department for Emergency Situations unveils 14 measures for the reorganization of the 112 emergency response service

The head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, presented on Friday evening a milestone report that provides for 14 measures for the reorganization of the 112 emergency response service.

“The main changes to the legislation in force envisage the implementation of the location tracking technology based on information collected from the mobile terminal, including through Advanced Mobile Location (AML) technology, which will provide to rescuers much more precise location information, significantly cutting the emergency management time and implicitly the emergency response time; the identification of pre-paid card users, whenever a call is placed with the 112 emergency hotline; the faster processing of the emergency and facilitating the tracing of the callers’ location, while at the same time discouraging abusive 112 calls and false alerts,” Raed Arafat told a news conference.

He added that one of the measures that will be implemented by amending the legislation will be a rise in penalties for false calls to 112.

“The Government’s Emergency Ordinance No. 62/2019 provides for the free of charge transmission of standardized, short technical messages associated with the emergency calls, containing information obtained on the basis of the terminal equipment, including AML type information, and for the increase of the penalties for false calls,” said Arafat.

Another measure provides for the conclusion of protocols with Google and Apple, ”for setting the technical conditions in place for the implementation of the AML system in Romania, on the two existing mobile operating systems – Android and iOS.”

“The Special Telecommunications Service (STS) has started talks with the two companies – Google and Apple, and the general terms and the conditions specific to each of the two systems – Android and iOS – have been determined; the technical details will be established and the agreements will be signed subsequently,” said the head of the Department for Emergency Situations.

Another measure requires mobile operators to modify their software to allow the transmission of location data to 112.

“The measure envisages the reconfiguring, through software changes, of the infrastructure of mobile operators to ensure the transmission of location data to the 112 national emergency call system. The STS has worked out the interconnection specifications, as well as the technical requirements for the implementation of AML, and sent them to the operators on August 30. At the same time, mobile operators have been asked to open the 114 short number for the interconnection interfaces configured according to the primary specifications received from Google and Apple to be tested and validated,” said Raed Arafat.

He explained that 114 isn’t intended for the citizens to call, but allows the transmission of the message that gives the caller’s location via the AML system, when a call is placed with the 112 hotline.

According to Arafat, as of September 3 there were 160,667 Android phones and 7,316 iOS phones with the active 112 application. He said that there has been a 514 percent increase on Android since August 23.

Another measure is aimed at reducing the response time and removing communication dysfunctions in dispatch offices of the dedicated emergency response agencies by integrating the dispatch offices with the single emergency call center.

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