Pakistan’s first national emergency helpline ‘911’ is set to be launched late next month.
Named as Pakistan Emergency Help Line (PEHL), the multi-billion rupees initiative will merge all the existing helpline services into one.
PEHL will be formally launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan who had directed the PM Delivery Unit (PMDU) to set up a national emergency helpline following the Gujarpura motorway incident in September last year.
While speaking with the media, Adil Saeed, PMDU’s Chief and Focal Person for PEHL, said that all modalities have been finalized after taking all provinces on board to establish the first national emergency helpline.
PEHL’s number can be dialed through mobile phones from any part of the country to avail different emergency services even if the caller has no access to the network.
Before starting work on PEHL, the PMDU studied the models of the national helplines of different countries including the UK and the USA. PMDU initially proposed 786 as the number for PEHL which was later replaced by 911.
The Ministry of Interior will supervise the PEHL while its head office has been set up in the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad. All federating units have also established the regional offices of the PEHL.
The national helpline will be run by trained and qualified operators deployed at both head and regional offices. All existing emergency services will be linked with PEHL where all emergency calls will be received and transferred to relevant departments for timely action.
Telecom companies have also been directed to ensure smooth implementation of the PEHL initiative while PTA has been taken into confidence ahead of the launch of the national emergency helpline.
PEHL’s unique feature is a ‘red light’ which will give alarm till the resolution of a complaint and the response from the caller will be noted against the complaint.
Besides, PEHL’s mobile application will also be launched next month with an aim to enable police and rescue departments to trace and timely reach the location of the people in an emergency.