Belgian emergency number unveils ‘options’ menu from Tuesday

Belgian emergency number unveils ‘options’ menu from Tuesday
Credit: © Belga

Whether you call the emergency numbers 112 or 101, from Tuesday a menu will allow you to choose between help from the fire service, ambulance or the police, the Federal Public Service Interior announced on Monday.

For the fire service or ambulance, you will have to press 1. For the police, it will be 2. An operator will answer regardless, or even if a person chooses nothing.

“The introduction of the new menu option is intended to provide appropriate assistance even more quickly to people who need it,” said Minister of Security and Home Affairs Pieter De Crem.

In Belgium, 112 can be used to get help from an ambulance or the fire brigade and 101 from the police. The two exchanges are different and their processes are not the same. The new menu makes a choice easier and avoids call transfers between the two numbers, which could delay the intervention of the emergency services.

The optional menu was tested as a pilot project between 1 October 2018 and 17 January 2019 in the provinces of Namur and West Flanders, said De Crem. According to the minister, this technology makes it possible to reduce the number of unnecessary calls, such as pocket calls or malicious calls.

The Brussels Times

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