Raising Awareness on 112 Emergency NumberFeb 12, 2016
For the second time in a row Kosovo celebrated the European Emergency Number 112 Day, this time focusing more on children. The Emergency Management Agency (EMA) - the Emergency Operation Center 112 joined efforts with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through Kosovo Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative (KDRRI) project to raise awareness on the importance of using the free emergency number especially among children and communities. The events organized by EMA and UNDP during the week of 11 February included organizing a quiz for children in, the Kosovo wide TV station, RTV 21 as well as holding a fair with emergency services in one of the main Prishtinë/Priština squares.
The quiz was featured for the first time on 10 February. More than 60 elementary school students from three schools in Prishtinë/Priština answered 20 questions designed by the Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and UNDP. The topics covered in the competition included when to call the 112 emergency number, types of natural disasters, what increases the dangers of disasters, the effects of disasters and finally actions that children and families can take in their homes and schools to successfully tackle emergencies.
As Mr. Mahir Hasani, director of Emergency Operation Center expressed: “Children are often at the forefront of disasters in Kosovo and worldwide and need greater protection. It is our intention that through this quiz children learn to take measures to minimize risks from disasters for themselves, their peers and educate the community as well”.
‘We were thrilled to see that all three teams were very well prepared showing their interest for this issue which, with climate change and migration increasing the risks of disasters worldwide, is becoming more important with each passing day”- said Dea Haxhi, project officer from UNDP Kosovo Disaster Risk Reduction Project.
In fact, the three schools kept scoring equal points obligating the commission from the Operative Emergency Center and UNDP to add and even improvise several additional questions until one of the schools won the competition. All students who participated received awareness raising materials including brochures, stickers as well as clocks with 112 logo which they will share with their peers and teachers in the schools while answering questions about their experience on national television.
“The quiz is fun and not very difficult, it is also illustrated with colorful photos. You can try it on computers and phones as well” –said one of the contestants.
The children visited for the first time the offices of the EMA and 112 Emergency Operation Center and had many questions for the officials and 112 operators such as: “does 112 receive many calls?; can we call 112 at night or only during the day?; and are there frequent false calls?”. Mr. Mahir Hasani from 112 and his collegues answered all their question emphasizing that, unfortunately, very often there are fallse calls that make their job more difficult.
112 is a toll free number which every citizen can access from landlines, mobile phones and international lines. This number activates emergency services at Kosovo level in case of need for emergency aid, illness, accidents or disasters.
On 11 February EMA marked the European Emergency Day 112. What was special this time was that children were at the forefront of the celebration that took place at one of the main squares in Prishtinë/Priština. 150 elementary school students, supported by EMA and UNDP, organized a manifestation in the square by raising their peers’ awareness on the importance of calling 112 during emergencies. Besides distributing informative brochures they also discussed with interested bypassersthe services that 112 offers. At the fair, similar to last year, citizens had the opportunity to get acquianted with the work of EMA, the Operative Emergency Center in Prishtinë/Priština, UNDP, Medical Emergency, Firefighters and rescue service, and Kosovo Police.