112 is the single emergency telephone number for the European Union. It was established by the Council Decision of 29 July 1991 (91/398/ EEC) and reinforced through further legislation. The relevant legal provisions at European Union level are now incorporated in Article 26 of Directive 2002/22/EC known as the Universal Service Directive, which provides for universal service and users’ rights relating to electronic communications networks and services. European citizens in distress situations are able to call 112 and get through to the emergency services in all member states. Consequently, anyone travelling within the Union has to remember only one number and this guarantees a quicker and more efficient intervention. Since accession to the EU in 2004, Poland has made a lot of effort to implement an efficient 112 service but it was up to regional governments to decide on the details.
Despite the lack of a national 112 organisational network, the headquarters has launched a complex 112 service in Wielkopolska (second biggest province of Poland). It is one of two provinces (there are 16 altogether) where 112, the pan-European emergency number, is used by the Fire Brigade and the only one to have introduced the service in English.
This goal was achieved through the ‘112, Can I help you?’ language project, which aimed at helping rescue services in Wielkopolska deal with emergency calls in English. The project was co-financed by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is the first project of its type in Poland. It was run simultaneously in nine training centres and convened 230 dispatchers from fire brigade and ambulance services. The course consisted of two parts: a general English course which ended with a key English examination and specialised English for dispatchers (SED) courses which were delivered through an e-learning tool. The SED part was a pilot project developed by rescuers and teachers from our headquarters.
The ‘112, Can I help you?’ project has already won an award from the Provincial Job Office ‘Best in Wielkopolska’ competition for being the best training project co-financed by the EU in 2007. The rescue system was first tested in December 2008 when the UN Conference on Climate Changes took place in Poznan with almost 10,000 participants from all over the world.
|Award category:||public service delivery|
|Sector:||Public health and social welfare/affairs|
|Type of activity:||new services or new technologies|
|Keywords:||Emergency calls, language project|
|Short English description:||The ‘112, Can I help you?’ project has already won an award from the Provincial Job Office ‘Best in Wielkopolska’ competition for being the best training project co-financed by the EU in 2007.|
|Organisation:||Provincial headquarters of State Fire Service in Poznan|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|