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17 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 April, 2019 01:20:07 AM
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Fire service hotline 102 ‘inactive’

DEEPAK ACHARJEE, Dhaka
Fire service hotline 102 ‘inactive’

The emergency helpline dialling short code 102, which was allocated only to the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (BFSCD), is currently ‘inactive’. For a long time, the emergency short code 102 was used only for the BFSCD. It was active till the integrated national emergency dialling code 999 was launched in December 2017. The BFSCD’s director (training, planning and development), Lt. Col. SM Zulfiker Rahman, told The Independent that he does not know whether or not the short code 102 has been closed.

The senior BFSCD officer, however, claimed that the short code 102 was officially not inactive. “The short code 102 may be inactive because of a technical fault,” he stated. However, he said the BFSCD does need a separate emergency toll-free helpline code for immediate needs in the case of fire.

“Yes, an integrated helpline 999 was launched for immediate needs in the case of any accident, crime, fire or ambulance, but time is wasted in informing the fire services department immediately by the callers when fire breaks out,” he added.

The deputy director (DD) of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Shamsuzoha, told this correspondent that the BFSCD does not use the short code 102 after the launch of the integrated

emergency short code 999. “As far as I know, they (the BFSCD) have connected their helpdesk to 999 for receiving information on fire,” he said.

Former BFSCD director-general Brig. Gen. (retd) Ali Ahmed Khan told this correspondent that the BFSCD should use a separate short code so that the callers can reach the office of the fire services in case of an emergency. “But it would depend on the top officials and administrators—whether they want it or not,” he said.

“An integrated short code 999 was launched.

But there is a little delay in connecting the fire services office and in immediately providing fire info,” he said.

“Some BFSCD personnel were working in the police headquarters control room round-the-clock to receive information on fire and rescue,” he added. This correspondent made several calls to 999 and each time received a menu of desired services from it. After dialling 999, the dialling system says to press ‘1’ for ambulance services, ‘2’ for fire services and ‘3’ for police services. To get help from a live operator, one needs to press ‘4’. Currently, there are a total of 68 short codes in the country to be used to address SMS and MMS messages or dial-up service from mobile phones or fixed phones to receive emergency services

The short codes are special telephone numbers, significantly shorter than full telephone numbers that can be used to address SMS and MMS messages or dial-up services from mobile phones or fixed phones. They are tailored to be easier to read and to remember than normal telephone numbers.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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