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Emergency 112 app gains 440K users

A smart phone application launched last summer has brought benefits to its users, like helping them to find lost people. The free app has facilitated some 1,500 emergency calls a month to date, some of which have been redirected to services such as the Poison Information Centre or the Public Service Info database.

112-Suomi sovellus puhelimessa.
Image: Kalle Niskala / Yle

Chief of emergency centre services Marko Nieminen says that the 112 smartphone application, which allows for direct and geographically pinged emergency calls, has been a success since its launch in June 2015.

The system has been reported as being easy to use and has gained a wide user base: the app had been downloaded more than 440,000 times as of mid-March.

"We've had a lot of successes, for instance we've been able to use the app to guide lost people back to civilisation without even having to alert the authorities," says Nieminen.

The 112 app also helps emergency vehicles in their tasks. Rescue Departments and ambulances receive real-time information through the coordinates provided by smart phones that use the application.

"The application's popularity has been exponential, especially during our 112 emergency awareness day," Nieminen continues. "After some initial trepidation people are now reporting as many as 1,500 emergencies a month."

The app has so far been free of any kind of misuse. Nieminen attributes this to the fact that people who use the app are more aware of what the emergency services are really responsible for.

The system accesses emergency numbers to other official centres, such as the search and rescue services and the Poison Information Centre, which has curbed the number of calls to the catch-all emergency number, 112.

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