PUTRAJAYA: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) will soon be launching a new smartphone application called SaveME 999 POLIS for getting help from the police.
Its minister, Salleh Said Keruak, said the application developed with the cooperation of Telekom Malaysia (TM) and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) will enable the public to seek urgent help without the need to make a voice call.
“This application will be launched for the benefit of the public soon. The application is in the form of a ‘panic button’ for people to use during a crime situation or when needing emergency response from the police,” he said at the Malaysian Emergency Response Service 999 (MERS 999) excellence awards ceremony here Friday night.
The application will allow users to press the “SaveME 999″ icon on the smartphone screens to get emergency assistance. The Global Positioning System (GPS) embedded in the phone will provide their location.
When activated, the GPS address and information on the user will be sent to the 999 emergency call centre. Additional information on the incident and location can also be tagged along with the message sent.
“All this information will help the police to respond more quickly and accurately,” he said.
The ministry in collaboration with TM and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry is also developing an application called SaveME 999 Deaf to help people with hearing impairment and SaveME 999 Blind for the visually impaired to seek help from the 999 Emergency call centre, he added.
Salleh also said the ministry will conduct the MERS 999 Comprehensive Study which involves aspects of finance, operations, work processes, human capital development and the structure of emergency services.
“The end-to-end study is important to ensure the continuity of the MERS 999 system and also to make sure the emergency services available here are on a par with emergency services in developed countries like the United States via its emergency line, 911.
“I ask all parties involved to give their full cooperation to this study. I also hope that the ministries and agencies involved help to improve the promotion and awareness campaigns on the emergency call number, 999, for the benefit of the people.”
Salleh said that based on the MERS 999 system records, the average number of 999 real emergency calls (genuine emergency calls) are between 40,000 to 50,000 calls a month.
Each emergency call and incident that occurs will be recorded in the MERS 999 system and used for a study by the emergency agencies involved, he said.
“Incident data, which is the emergency statistics at specific locations or emergency incident trends and the time of the emergency, can be used by all emergency agencies to plan carefully and devise new methods so that constructive reforms can be implemented to improve the overall 999 service,” he said.
Citing an example, Salleh said in the United States, an analysis of emergency call data will be conducted to speed up the response to emergency calls and early preparations for emergencies, and improve existing procedures.
“I also hope that all these important data can be collected and stored by a responsible body in the country to channel the data to any government agency that requires it,” he added.
At the event, five bodies involved in the MERS 999 Project received the Minister’s Award for their continuous support in planning, implementing and use of the MERS 999 system.
They are PDRM, the Health Ministry, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.