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Belgium to update emergency calls service from early 2020

Callers can press 1 for an ambulance and fire services or 2 to contact the police. Credit: pexels

Belgium will be introducing a menu of options for emergency number 112 as of February 11 2020. The three emergency services (fire, ambulance, police) will then be obtainable by ringing the number. This novelty will cut down on the number of nuisance calls received or on those that have to be transferred from 112 to 101 and vice versa.

At present, it is necessary to dial 101 to contact the police or 112 for the fire and ambulance services. From 11 February 2020, European 112 Day, the essential services will be obtained from a menu of options accessible by dialling the single number 112.

Once a connection to the emergency call centre has been established, a recorded message will tell the caller to press 1 for an ambulance and fire services or 2 to contact the police.

“Emergency situations are very stressful times. So we want to help citizens to notify the service they require as quickly as possible,” the Minister of Security and the Interior, Pieter De Crem, stated. The introduction of this menu, therefore, aims to simplify a call for help by unifying the ways of contacting the available services.

Even if the caller does not select from the proposed options, he will be automatically put in contact with an operator, the Federal Interior Public Service stipulated. In a case where a person makes the wrong choice, the operator can always transfer the call to the appropriate emergency call centre.

The SPF Intérieur states that the smartphone application ‘112 BE’ can also be used to call the various emergency services.

The Brussels Times