On the lines of emergency number ‘911’ in the United States, India has finally got its single emergency helpline number ‘112’ which was launched by the Hon’ble Home Minister, Sh. Rajnath Singh, on 19th February from Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
With the launch of Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), now the residents of South Andaman District can also avail the service of 112 helpline during any emergency. The ERSS is a pan-India single number (112) based response system for persons in distress, which would provide immediate assistance from agencies such as Police, Fire (101), Health etc.
Any citizen in distress may dial 112 from phone or press thrice the power button on any smart phone or long press “5” or “9” key on any normal phone to activate the panic call to the dedicated DIAL 112 Control Room/Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). In addition, SOS alerts can also be sent using email or by using 112 India mobile app, which is available for free on Google Play store and Apple store.
Under this system, a dedicated DIAL 112 Control Room/Public Safety Answering point (PSAP) has been set up at Satarkta Bhavan, Link Road, Port Blair, which has a team of trained call-takers and dispatchers to handle emergency requests related to assistance from Police, Fire, Health and other agencies. All the call logs are being maintained digitally. This Control Room is connected to Emergency Response Vehicles, and Control Rooms of various departments for providing assistance to victims.
ERSS also provides a 112 India mobile app for making distress calls. 112 India App provides a special SHOUT feature which alerts registered volunteers in the vicinity of victim for immediate assistance. Members of public are encouraged to register as voluntarily on this app.
Two more mini-PSAPs/ Control Rooms would be established at Mayabunder and Car Nicobar shortly cater to the needs of North & Middle Andaman District and Nicobar District respectively. As of now 112 helpline will be functioning independently and the emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 etc will be merged with 112 in due course of time.