Brussels – In 2018, Portugal was the fifth worst country in the European Union (EU) in the number of calls dropped to the European emergency number (112), which was around 20 per cent, due to problems such as network or line congestion.
The data are contained in the report published today by the European Commission on the 28th anniversary of the implementation of the European emergency number, showing that Portugal is the fifth worst-ranked country (out of the total of 28 Member States, with three countries not responding) that touches calls made to 112 and that “terminate before a response by a human operator.”
“Call dropping can be caused by network problems, call congestion, among other factors,” Brussels notes in the report.
Worse than Portugal – which had a rate of almost 20 per cent – was Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, and in the latter case the rate rose to almost 50 per cent.
In all, about 8,500,000 calls were made to 112 in Portugal last year, out of a total of 141,141,731 made throughout the EU.
Regarding the response time, more than 90 per cent of the calls were answered in 10 seconds in 13 Member States in 2018, including Portugal, in which the average time was six seconds.
In Portugal, 112 is the number most used to report emergencies.
The country is installing a system of geolocation of calls, a project that has community funds.
Brussels foresees that, by 2020, 15 Member States have this system installed, and that for the moment it exists only in Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
In Portugal, however, warnings have already been created by text messages (by entities such as Civil Protection, among others), this being one of the five Member States where this happens – together with countries such as Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain.