China's first coordinated urban emergency response system able to connect anxious callers to any service needed started its trial operation on November 12.
Local officials said the system, which extends to homes in a 10,000-square-kilometers area in urban Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, south China, integrates several emergency phone call numbers for police, firefighters and medical doctors into a single service.
The system, which cost 160 million yuan (about US$ 20 million), was produced by US electronics manufacturer Motorola.
Experts said local residents can dial any of the common emergency numbers--110,119 and 120--to be connected to a dispatcher, who then relays the caller's information to the proper department.
In most Chinese cities, each emergency service has its own number and there are no crossovers, which has proved confusing for some residents.
The system features computer-aided dispatch equipment which can provide geographic information, telecommunications, an information technology network, wireless communications, voice recording, big-screen display, vehicle positioning information, and on-the-spot satellite image transmission.
(China Daily November 13, 2001)