Emergencies around the World #1 - Mexico switches to 911 !

At Flare, we are always working to improve our products and services to deliver the best outcomes. That is why it is important for us to keep an eye on any progress made in terms of emergency system response across the globe. We have been thoroughly documenting some of the success stories we found and will share them with you in a frequent Emergencies around the World post series.

Our first post is dedicated to Mexico that just completed the switch to 911 as its unique national emergency number on January 2017. This new number will cover all medical, fire and police emergencies.

The implementation of the unique number was not an easy process as more than 500 numbers across 194 Emergency Centres in the entire country were previously used with different response and dispatch systems. President Enrique Peña Nieto thanked everyone for “A great effort, commitment and participation, especially of those operating the country’s 194 emergency centres”

This step will be leading the convergence efforts across the Mexican States “So that we have a better country, a better nation, and united as a society, will be able to overcome difficult times. When we are united, we are always more than willing and prepared to move forward for the benefit of our society and what we love most: our children and future generations”

One crucial difference with the American 911 is the geo-localisation that will allow the dispatch centre to pinpoint exactly where the call was made for both landline (through a database) and cell phone (through GPS location) in eight seconds only. This has been one of the main criticism against 911 in the US for several years now, and a John Oliver episode was even dedicated to that issue.

More features will be added in the coming months:

  • 24h/7days assistance in English should be available starting in Summer 2017
  • A national medical record database will be created so that individuals can voluntarily provide information such as: address, medical conditions, contacts, attending doctor(s) and medical allergies or special needs. Those data could be critical to inform life-saving decisions

A six-months transition phase where both old numbers and the new one will work in parallel has been scheduled to allow people to get acquainted with the new service.

Stay-tuned for our next deep dive into emergency response across the world!

Julia Cormier

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