Vietnam is planning to simplify its emergency dispatch number system, reducing the current three telephone numbers to one.
The new system, approved recently by the government, will be set up in the next five years, allowing people anywhere in the country to make an emergency call by dialing 112.
Now 113 is for urgent police help, 114 for the fire service and 115 for medical emergencies.
Officials said that during an emergency many people are not calm enough to dial the right number, and it takes time for the unit receiving the call to transfer it to the right one.
Nguyen Tran Ngoc Hoa, a senior Ho Chi Minh City police officer, said the police emergency number gets many calls meant for 114 and 115.
“The transfer takes time, while in a situation like that one or two minutes can save a life.”
Hoa said if all emergency calls can be made to a single number, it would be easier for both the public and the response teams.
Government officials said a single emergency number is the norm in many countries and setting it up is within Vietnam’s technical capability.
Representatives of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group, better known as VNPT, will meet with officials from the National Committee for Search and Rescue this month to discuss the specific needs of the new system.