Europe-wide emergency no. 112 to be fully operational by year's end
The Minister of Digital Governance Kyriakos Pierrakakis on Friday attended a demonstration of the European emergency number 112 platform at the Civil Protection Operations Centre, where a trial transmission of emergency messages via mobile networks was carried out.
Pierrakakis underlined that "the 112 system is a pioneering system and will be fully operational by year's end," and added that "today we checked that its core infrastructure is functional. Our main job now is to ensure this works on all mobile devices."
"This also requires actions from us. You will see them soon. There is no time for delays," he stressed.
112 is a free-of-charge emergency number available in all 28 EU member states, as well as other European countries and elsewhere. Citizens can dial 112 to reach the emergency services, including the police, emergency medical services and the fire brigade.
The Digital Governance Minister stressed that what is most crucial is "what you do with it afterwards: What message you will send, to whom you send it, in which area, what it will say, or how an emergency evacuation is managed," along with the 112 platform. This, he added, is the job of the General Secretariat of Civil Protection.
On behalf of the Greek Mobile Operators Association (EEKT), General Manager George Stefanopoulos said that "today's gathering and discussion was about the technical capacity of the country to manage the 112 infrastructure and cell broadcasting. Technical capability is available in the country."
The Civil Alert System will include two websites (fire brigade and Greek police) for uninterrupted operation, voice alerts on landline telephones of registered citizens, text message (SMS) alerts on mobile phone subscriptions, cell broadcast alerts within a specific area, group alerts via calls, emails, faxes, sms, facebook, twitter, and alerts displayed on motorway screens.
During a live test between 13:00 and 14:00 on Friday, people in the vicinity of the Civil Protection Operations Centre (1 Rizariou St., Halandri) and the Citizen Protection Ministry (on Katehaki Ave.) initially received messages titled "Trial transmission of cell message #x" and later received another message with a sound alarm, including the title "Government message".
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