Jakarta first Indonesian city to get national emergency hotline

Also launches text service for floods warning.

Indonesia will for the first time get a single emergency hotline, with Jakarta becoming the first city to launch the service in April. “112 will be a national emergency line, and Jakarta will be the first one to get it,” Bambang Surya Putra, Informatics Head of Jakarta’s Disaster Management Agency told GovInsider. This is a significant change for the country where federal and local agencies have multiple emergency hotlines, with different numbers in cities for fire, ambulance, police and disaster services. “We have quite a few numbers right now in Jakarta and citizens are not able to remember all of them. We need one single number for all kinds of public safety issues,” he said. The national project is being led by the Ministry of Communications and Information, which will work with local governments to roll out the service. 112 will allow the federal government to centrally monitor emergency response across the country. “We have to make one standard across agencies. For example, what is the longest time taken for a fire truck or an ambulance to reach the area, and how can we improve that time frame?,” Surya Putra said. Data on 112 calls will be shared with Jakarta’s smart city operations centre, he said. “All systems in Jakarta should be integrated, especially critical public services such as 112,” he added. The city has also just launched an SMS service to warn residents about floods, just before the start of peak monsoon season in the city. People will get text messages 3 to 9 hours in advance, with information on the water level and steps they need to take to prepare for the flood. Officials will be able to select which parts of the city the message should be broadcast to, warning only those who are at risk of being affected by floods. The government is working with the four biggest mobile network operators in the country so that the text messages can be sent free of charge.