How Barcelona is improving emergency services

Barcelona’s city police and fire brigade recently integrated their command and control systems into Catalonia’s 112 emergency number service, and we at Hexagon are proud to have played a role in making it happen.

Why integrate systems?

Previously, callers in an emergency situation were required to dial separate numbers to request police and fire assistance: 092 for police or 080 for fire. While callers could dial 112, this option required their calls to be routed to police or fire dispatch, depending on the service required, which could slow down response times.

Now, the newly integrated systems allow callers to dial 112 for all their police and fire emergency service needs, without the requirement of separate phone numbers or the frustration of being transferred during an emergency.

This integration means a dramatic improvement in the quality of assistance to citizens and visitors of Barcelona as it provides a much more agile response by ensuring immediate coordination between the different services. Police and fire brigade dispatchers can now receive real-time information about the emergency forces deployed, the resources allocated, and whether responders have completed their respective involvement in an incident.

How did Hexagon solutions aid the project?

Hexagon’s Safety & Infrastructure division has been working closely with the city’s fire and police departments for more than 12 years by providing services and software solutions for incident management. To implement the project, Barcelona used Hexagon’s industry-leading computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system and Xalt | Integration solution, software specifically designed to integrate mission critical systems.

The new combined system handles an average of 1,000 incidents every day through the real-time exchange of more than 20,000 messages with Catalonia’s 112 emergency number.

How are Barcelona city leaders spreading the word?

This complex project was initiated by the Barcelona City Council, responsible for the city police and fire brigade, and the Government of Catalonia’s Department of the Interior, responsible for the 112 service. These city leaders worked closely with public administration agencies to see the project to fruition.

The integrated system is now live but making a monumental change to emergency services takes great effort to inform citizens. Since December 2020, the Barcelona City Council has been running an awareness campaign, “Ara, som el 112,” aimed at informing citizens of Barcelona that all their emergency service needs will now be met through the single emergency number and the former police and fire brigade numbers are no longer in use.

Looking to the future

As the integrated system is operationalized by the agencies and adopted by citizens, we look forward to seeing the results of more agile and efficient services. Integrating emergency services into one number is just one of many ways the City of Barcelona is committed to ensuring the safety of residents and visitors, and we are proud to assist them in their endeavors.

Learn more

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