Monday, October 1, 2007
Dial 999 for all emergency services
By DEVID RAJAH
PUTRAJAYA: Starting today the public can dial 999 to report all forms of emergencies and expect their calls to be answered within 10 seconds or after four rings by the 999 Emergency Call Service Centre.
Unlike in the past where the public had to dial three different numbers (999, 994 and 991) to reach the different emergency and rescue service providers in the country, now all rescue service providers can be reached at one number.
Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor said specially trained professionals would handle all emergency calls and reroute them, complete with digital data on the type of emergency and location, to the respective emergency service providers like the police, ambulance services, fire stations and civil defence rescue units.
He said the 999 call centre would be fully managed by Telekom Malaysia (TM) Berhad and a nationwide campaign on the use of a single number was being carried out.
"By January, the 991 and 994 numbers will not be used any longer, but those who still use them to call emergency services will be rerouted to the emergency call centre located throughout the country," he told reporters during a soft launch ceremony of the single emergency number and awareness campaign called Satu Negara Satu Nombor - 999.
Shaziman said the problem of emergency calls not being answered should not arise as the unattended calls would be passed to the next available call centre.
There are a total of eight emergency call centres in the country, with the latest centre opening in Malacca.
He said one of the serious problems faced by emergency service providers is crank calls. He said that 98% of all emergency calls were false or crank calls.
"Out of the 15.7 million emergency calls received by TM, 98.9% were crank calls," he said.