Mandi: Himachal Pradesh became the first state to launch the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS), a pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ where all kinds of immediate help can be sought in urgent matters.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the ERSS number. As per the Home Ministry’s statement, an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Shimla along with 12 district command centres (DCCs), covering the entire state.

An official said the ERSS number launched will gradually be rolled out across the country and is similar to the 911 all-in-one emergency service in the US. To increase the effectiveness of emergency response, the ERC has also been integrated with location-based services provided by telecom service providers, the statement said.

The service also includes a 112 India mobile app that is integrated with a panic button for smartphones and state ERSS websites for ease of citizen in availing immediate assistance. The ERC has been integrated with police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the emergency number ‘112’.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh applauded the initiatives of the Himachal Pradesh government for being the first state to launch the single emergency number ‘112’ under the ERSS project. He appealed residents of the state to download ‘112 India’ mobile app available on the app stores of Google & Apple.

Citing the success of Himachal Pradesh in rolling out the ERSS project, he requested other states and union territories to make all-out efforts to commence its rollout.

This event marks the beginning of commencement of a single number based emergency services, which will connect to the police, fire, health and other helplines through an emergency response centre in the state. This service obviates the need for citizens to remember multiple helpline numbers, the statement said.

To ensure the safety of women, ‘SHOUT’ feature has been introduced in ‘112 India’ mobile app to seek immediate assistance from registered volunteers in the vicinity, apart from immediate assistance from ERC.

The SHOUT feature is exclusively available to women. The ‘112 India’ mobile app will be subsequently rolled out in all states and UTsto help people across the country access the unified emergency services. The central government has allocated Rs 321.69 crore under the Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of ERSS project across the country.

(With agency inputs)