The Korea Herald


119 reports by text, video calls, app increase 36% last year

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : June 12, 2024 - 14:17

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Reports to emergency number 119 through channels other than direct phone calls increased by 36 percent last year, data showed on Wednesday.

According to the National Fire Agency, a total of 896,049 reports were made to the hotline outside of conventional voice calls last year, up from 235,360 the previous year.

Since 2011, people have been able to request emergency assistance via text messages, video calls, photos sent via text message or reports via the 119 mobile app, in addition to calling 119 directly. Of the total non-call reports, video calls accounted for the largest share at 421,741 cases, recording a year-on-year increase of 64.5 percent. Text messages came in next at 388,035, followed by photos sent via text message at 73,188, and reports via the 119 app at 2,927.

The fire agency said that the diversification in reporting methods helps them manage dispatch demand more effectively, preventing the 119 telephone lines from getting overloaded. Furthermore, reports received via non-call channels are automatically saved on servers according to the time at which they come in, which makes it easier for authorities to gather crucial information such as the location of each incident.