Cyprus Mail

Cyprus urged to set up emergency alert system


Cyprus has been implored to “urgently” set up an emergency mobile alert system in the European Emergency Number Association’s latest annual report.

Location-based emergency alert systems, typically delivered via cell broadcast or SMS, have become commonplace across Europe, warning of severe weather or other disasters. They have also been mandatory across the European Union since 2018 after a relevant directive was adopted.

The report also called on Cyprus to roll out Advanced Mobile Location – a protocol which allows emergency services to accurately determine the location of emergency callers. Advanced Mobile Location has been mandatory in the EU since 2020.

Additionally, it said Cyprus must “ensure visitors with disabilities can contact emergency services without pre-registration,” and develop a publicly accessible national registry of automated external defibrillators.

It also promoted Cyprus’ eventual transfer to Next Generation 112, an internet protocol-based technology for emergency calls.

In addition, the report showed that 63 per cent of Cypriots are aware of the number 112 as an emergency number in Cyprus. This is in addition to the traditional 199 number for emergency calls to the police, ambulance and fire department.

Other countries have rates as high as 98 per cent of awareness of 112 or as low as 15 per cent.

The European Emergency Number Association is an advocacy group which works on policy regarding emergency services and their standardisation across Europe.

European 112 Day is marked annually on February 11.

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