Emergency - 112 - Sweden

in urgent emergency situations

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  • 1951 - With the intention to improve the community's possiblity to get in touch with different types of emergency services, a committee (SOU 1951:19) suggested that the country should be divided into 110 SOS areas with about 70 SOS Offices. A common emergency number, 90 000, would be introduced. The proposal was at the time made more urgent due to the preparation to make the country's telephone network automatic.
  • 1956 - The new system was introduced following a decision by the parliament (prop 1956:1), and was run by the State owned Televerket. The number of SOS Offices established, which were connected to Televerket's manual exchanges, were however fewer than had been proposed. The emergency number 90 000 was to be used without an area code, and it was answered by operators who connected the calls to the emergency services that the caller requested. 90 000 whould be used to contact a series of specific emergency services, which remain the same today.
  • The 26 SOS Offices answered 2 million calls in 1971. The average time before a reply was 3 seconds. However, the time it took to dial the number on those days' dialling panels, as well as the connection time on the manual exchanges meant that it took longer. 20-30 seconds was not unusual.
  • In 1972 it was suggested (prop 1972:129) that the SOS service should be transferred to specific County Alarm Offices with the purpose of making it easier for the caller, shorten the alarm times as well as co-ordinate the alarms in Sweden. Televerket, the Association for Counties and the Association for Municipalities agreed to establish a joint company (SOS Alarmering AB) for this purpose.
  • The first County Emergency Call Office (LAC-U) opened in Vasteras in 1974. Over the next ten years or so, a total of 20 such emergency call offices were opened throughout the country.
  • The last of the 20 emergency call offices was opened in Visby (LAC-I) in 1987. Approximately 180 local emergency call centres had thus been replaced.
  • 1994 - Following the privatisation of Televerket, and the establishment of Telia AB, (when Televerket's part ownership of SOS Alarmering was handed over to the State), a new agreement was made between the then Department of Communication and SOS Alarm AB, where the duty to reply to the joint emergency number was regulated.
  • As part of the European integration, the emergency number 112 was introduced in 1996. The number was a big success in Sweden and is almost without exception used as the emergency number today. However, 90 000 still works as a compliment. The number of calls increased significantly with the introduction of 112.
  • 2001 - The total number of calls to 112 reaches a total of about 3.5 million per year. The average time before a reply is 6.5 seconds. By using today's digital telephone network, number dialling and connection is a matter of seconds. .