What is Project ESR-112?

Project ESR-112 has been set off by Government Decree No. 1312 of 2011 in order to facilitate emergency response to 112 calls in Hungary just like in other member states, implement an integrated info-communications system to accelerate information exchange, thus potentially contribute to saving lives.

The Background of Project ESR-112

The European Council intends to grant access to emergency service providers for all European citizens along the same principles. Emergency call number 112 has been operated in the EU since 1991, establishing a contact channel to emergency services free of charge in all member states along the same, harmonized principles, employing state-of-the-art technology.

By now 112 is accessible free of charge from fixed and mobile phones alike, from virtually everywhere in Europe, in accordance with the Directives of the European Committee.

In 1999, 112 as a call number was introduced in Hungary too, but unlike in several other member states, no integrated IT system was implemented to support it. Thus, 112 represents only a phone service, and emergency calls are processed by service providers in a way different from most European countries. Standards of receiving emergency calls, managing notifications, and technical cooperation between emergency bodies unfortunately fall way behind contemporary expectations. Info-communication technology only plays little role in the processes, causing the system to rely on the heroic efforts of operators to meet an adequate service level.

What is Project ESR-112 Going to Implement?

Calls to the national emergency numbers are currently received by the relevant services (104: ambulance; 105: disaster management; 107: police), while calls to 112 are received by the police as well.

The Project is bringing about a comprehensive ICT system which enables the modernization of the collaborative business processes of emergency service providers. The new system will be supporting real-time voice and data transfer between emergency service agents, both dispatchers and responding teams. It will support the use of all modern channels (i.e. phone, eCall, SMS, MMS, internet, etc.) to ask for assistance.

Answering Points (AP) are established in Miskolc and in Szombathely, and tasked with the pre-filtering of emergency calls. According to international good practice, APs are to assist Emergency Services dispatchers by relaying only incidents that require actual professional intervention to them. AP operators will track the location of the call or notification on a map provided by the system, assisted by automatic positioning; at the same time registering data of the caller and the location of the incident. Operators have to collect information on the event following a pre-defined query protocol and utilize the system to decide on relaying the case to the county-level dispatching centre of the relevant emergency service provider. The two-way contact enables dispatchers to subsequently involve other emergency services if they find necessary. Incident tickets, sometimes along with the call itself are relayed to an idle dispatcher, who on the computer generated map can immediately track the availability of their vehicles and other resources in the area of the event. By utilizing either an AP operator or an interpreter service, they can negotiate with the caller in Hungarian, English, or even in other languages.

Should complex incidents like severe accidents or disasters affecting a lot of people arise, the Integrated Emergency Call System allows that dispatchers of all three emergency services connect in a single conference call to coordinate their efforts, based on full voice and data integration. The joint county dispatching centres of police and disaster management will be prepared to host the special staff to be deployed when exceptional, complex incidents require multi-level control of emergency assistance.

 

Which Organizations Stand Behind the Integrated Emergency System?

By mandate of Government Decree No. 1312 of 2011, the project is being implemented by a consortium led by the Governmental Information-Techology Development Agency (GITDA), and  its members are the Ministry of Interior (MI), the Ministry of National Development (MND), the Ministry of Human Resources (MHR), NISZ National Infocommunications Service Company Ltd. (NISZ), as well as the emergency services affected, i.e. the National Ambulance Service (NAS), the National Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDA), and the National Police Headquarters (NPH).

With regards to project governance, high level strategic leadership is provided by members of the High Level Advisory Board, directors and heads of the participating ministries; tactical leadership and supervision are provided by members of the Project Steering Committee, and managers of their delegating organizations; operative leadership is provided by the heads of the Project Offices at MI and NDGDA, and the IT sub-project leader at NISZ, led by the Project Manager at GITDA. The reengineering of the emergency services’ business processes to feed into the IT system will be performed by NPH (supervised by MI), NDGDA, and NAS (supervised by MHR). GITDA (as consortium leader) and NISZ, both supervised by MND, are responsible for designing and implementing the IT system.

The diagram below will demonstrate the complexity of the project.

 

 

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