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  • Citizens dial 119 every 10 seconds in Seoul!

  • SMG 2240

    The citizens of Seoul call 119 every ten seconds according to The History of 119 Reports in Seoul issued by Seoul Emergency Operations Center on the occasion of its tenth anniversary.

    According to the report, Seoul Emergency Operations Center received 30.25 million emergency calls for the ten years from 2002 to 2011.

    The calls were broadly composed of emergency (13.6%), rescue (1.3%), fire (1.18%), location tracking (0.4%) and other types of calls including consultations about safety (83.2%).

    119 calls were made every ten seconds during the ten years, with emergencies reported every 76 seconds, rescue requests made every 13 minutes, and fires reported every 14 minutes.

    During the decade, the patterns of 119 calls changed.

    Fire reports dropped from 39,308 to 25,336, showing a 35.5% decline, whereas rescue requests and emergency calls increased by 25% and 17.6%, respectively.

    The number of calls requesting the location tracking service, which was launched in 2006 to assist or rescue persons in distress, increased from 3,807 in 2006 to 37,458 in 2011, showing a tenfold increase.

    The number of hoax or prank calls dropped from 15,874 to 1,072 during the same period. Most of them were made from phone booths, making them hard to locate.

    The Seoul Emergency Operations Center began to handle all city-wide emergency calls in 2002, whereas previously, each fire station dealt with them. Currently, the center handles an average of 10,686 cases a day with each official at the center responding to an average daily load of 630 cases.

    The most preposterous dilemmas the officials have been asked to resolve include such pearls as: “I am depressed. Please send me someone who can play the pipe for me,” “Please call a Chinese restaurant and order a jjamppong (Chinese-style noodles with vegetables and seafood) for me,” “Please help us move our wardrobe from the living room to the master bedroom,” and “While I was talking to my wife, who’s just got involved in a traffic accident in China, the phone was cut off. Please do something to find out what is going on there.”

    119 Calls from 2002-2011

    Year Contents Location tracking
    Sub-total Fire Rescue Emergency Civil complaints Hoax/prank calls
    2002 4,879,065 39,308 39,459 458,026 4,326,398 15,874
    2003 4,308,983 36,604 36,257 378,127 3,846,621 11,374
    2004 3,098,520 40,606 36,401 358,565 2,657,237 5,711
    2005 2,431,066 40,213 37,827 368,017 1,979,499 5,560
    2006 2,450,389 41,600 37,098 391,920 1,968,685 7,279 3,807
    2007 2,291,269 37,988 40,369 414,455 1,777,688 2,562 1,8207
    2008 2,201,883 40,140 36,432 427,294 1,672,178 2,590 23,249
    2009 2,080,718 30,343 37,901 445,491 1,538,2698 1,748 26,966
    2010 2,608,475 26,719 42,799 449,707 2,057,641 1,657 29,952
    2011 3,900,387 25,336 49,365 444,781 3,342,375 1,072 37,458
    Total 30,250,755 358,857
    (1.18%)
    393,908
    (1.3%)
    4,136,383
    (13.6%)
    25,166,591
    (83.2%)
    55,427(0.18%) 139,639
    (0.4%)

    119 Calls in 2011

    Year Contents Location tracking
    Sub-total Fire Rescue Emergency Civil complaints Hoax/prank calls
    2011 3,900,387 25,336 49,365 444,781 3,342,375 1,072 37,458

    Daily Average of 119 Calls in Contents in 2011

    Total Fire Rescue Emergency Inquiries/others Hoax/prank calls Location tracking
      70(0.6%) 135(1.2) 1,219(11.4%) 9,157   9,157