Mexico implements new nationwide emergency response system

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Mexico implements new nationwide emergency response system 3

For the first time in Mexico, emergency services will have a single number nationwide.

Government officials said this will allow authorities to respond more effectively.

CGTN’s Martin Markovits reports.

Mexico implements new nationwide emergency response system

Mexico implements new nationwide emergency response system

The Mexican government hopes to change responses like that with a new nationwide 911 emergency number. Earlier this month, Mexico City and 15 states became the last regions in the country to adopt the centralized emergency service. CGTN's Martin Markovits reports.

When Eric Schoener found his car vandalized on a Mexico City street, he dialed Mexico’s emergency services for help. It proved to be more hassle than it what it was worth.

The Mexican government hopes to change responses like that with a new nationwide 911 emergency number. Earlier this month, Mexico City and 15 states became the last regions in the country to adopt the centralized emergency service.

For the first time medical, fire and police protection will now come under one single number. The hope is this will reduce the poor response times of Mexico’s emergency personnel and eliminate confusion over which number to call.

“In Mexico City and in the rest of the states, there was not just one emergency number, there were many. For example the number for medical help was different from the fire department which was 068. In other regions, there were even more numbers,” Idris Rodriguez, Mexico City 911 control center coordinator said.

According to Rodriguez, callers are now connected to one of 3,000 operators in about 200 call centers around the country, who in turn then contact the local emergency service. He said the wait time for emergency response should be on average five minutes.

But challenges still remain. The system will not automatically recognize a caller’s location when using a cell phone, unless the user has previously downloaded an app. And public awareness of the new single number needs to be improved.

Despite these issues, many see the new 911 system as a long overdue measure to improve the safety and well-being of Mexican citizens in their time of need. And when it comes to saving lives, every second counts.