Next time a fire breaks out in your house, or there is an urgent need of medical help, ‘112’ is the common helpline number you can dial. The all-in-one help line service adopted by TRAI would help during emergency situations such as availing services of police, ambulance and the fire department.
The number 112 is equivalent of the American 911 which serves the same purpose there. All existing emergency numbers such as 100, 101, 102 and 108 will be phased out within a year after the adoption of 112, which would depend on the level of public awareness about the plan. This new number may be popularized extensively through a public awareness campaign by the Government," TRAI said.
In India, we have different emergency helpline numbers for different issues; Police (100), Fire Brigade (101), Ambulance (102) and Emergency Disaster Management (108). Apart from the basic services, state has also allotted helpline numbers for different sections of the society; Woman in distress - 181 (Delhi), Missing Children and Women - 1094 (Delhi), Crime against Women - 1096 (Delhi), Police Headquarter helpline - 1090 (Uttar Pradesh) etc.
A person, who calls 112, will be directed to the concerned departments immediately for help. The service will also be accessible even through those SIMs and landlines whose outgoing call facility has been stopped or temporarily suspended. A user will be able to make communication even through SMS and the system will learn about the location of the caller that will be shared with the nearest help centre.
The number is already used as the common emergency number in all member states of the European Union as well as several other countries of Europe and the world.