Since 1995, the European 112 emergency number has been set up in France. However, it is close to a dozen other emergency numbers, leading to a complex system. Also, 67 million emergency calls are registered every year. During the Paris bombings in November 2015, out of 80,000 calls received, only 10,000 could be processed.
Clearly call centers need support. Could a mobile application be the solution?
Mobile applications can provide solutions for communicating with citizens in a simple, fast and efficient way. However, digitally streamlining the mass influxes of calls in emergency call centers, risks taking some of the human interaction out of the calls. A mobile app can not empathize with the victim who calls for help. The call center is a reassuring link for a witness or victim. It is therefore essential not to dehumanize the system. False alarms might also be more of a concern.
Any app to help alleviate the overload of emergency calls needs to be done thoughtfully. For example, a solution called “Geoloc 18-112” geolocates a caller without an application. This solution has proved its worth and initiatives of this kind should be encouraged. Whatever the proposed solution, it is essential that it be tested by the end users so that it integrates fully into a global device.
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