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'Centralize the Swedish emergency call system'

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'Centralize the Swedish emergency call system'
15:18 CEST+02:00
Swedish emergency service operator SOS Alarm should be replaced by a state authority, according to a new proposal presented to Sweden's Defence Minister Karin Enström on Monday.

According to the proposal, between five and seven regional call centres would be launched around the country, part of a state authority that would be tasked with a range of responsibilities to ensure the safety of the Swedish public.

The authority would also take responsibility for fielding calls on the emergency 112 line, which connects to police, ambulance, and rescue services. It would also have the capacity to deal with everyday situations as well as those of a more acute nature, and would be in charge of warning the public about emergency incidents.

"I believe that only the state can take responsibility for this important public service," researcher Marie Hafström told the TT news agency.

"In my opinion, this is about securing the individual's right to get help in an emergency."

The proposal was welcomed by the emergency service operator.

"It's for the best for both the public and its citizens if this is rolled out," SOS Alarm spokesman Anders Klarström said.

"Then we must remember that this is a proposal and it will go out for comment."

He added that he does not see the proposal as any kind of criticism of SOS Alarm, a service that has been slammed in recent years over incidents related to ambulance call-outs. A number of Swedish people have died after staff members at SOS Alarm chose not to send an ambulance following the placement of an emergency call.

Hafström, however, said that the proposal did not reflect any kind of critique

"This Swedish model that we've had has by and large worked well," she told TT.

"But what we're seeing in society now with other players and a complex alarm chain means that this model is challenged."

TT/The Local/og

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