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Increase in 999 calls 9 January 2008

EMERGENCY 999 calls handled by the Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) increased by 8.6% during 2007 compared with the previous year.

The annual report published by the Department of Home Affairs’ Communications Division shows 999 calls rose from 14,755 to 16,032 during 2007, although emergency events fell by almost 4%. The total number of emergency calls since the system went live in April 2004 is 56,113.

Technical Director Robert Williamson said:

‘In terms of emergency calls, 2007 showed an overall increase of 14% since going live. Some of that increase can be attributed to the Centenary TT and the introduction of two new mobile phone service providers on the Island. To explain why the number of emergency events was down when the figure for emergency calls increased it should be noted that not all emergencies are called in using the 999 system, and vice versa, some people make 999 calls for non-emergency reasons.’

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK commented:

‘This is further endorsement of the performance of the TETRA system and the Emergency Services Joint Control Room, and justification of the Isle of Man Government’s forward-thinking in investing in this all-Island system of combined emergency communications. It’s also pleasing to note that the annual report shows that, even though the number of 999 calls handled has significantly increased, the response time is still under two seconds, putting the Isle of Man at the forefront of emergency call handling.’

The average time to answer 999 calls fell to 1.65 seconds last year compared with 1.71 in 2006, and 1.78 seconds overall since going live.

Calls across the Isle of Man’s TETRA system were up more than 5% to total 1,278,176 during the year, contributing to a grand total of 4,158,158 since it went live in April 2004. The system is used by 21 different Government organisations.

Non 999 calls handled by the control room also rose by 2.3% from 455,527 to 466,402 during the year.

The annual report for 2007 and other recent activity reports published by the Communications Division can be found on the Department’s website at www.gov.im/dha/cd/activity.xml.

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