A new emergency call filtering system has been announced by the Ministry of External Affairs and Communication to help staff filter emergency calls in Japan, in an attempt to cope with the growing number of requests for emergency vehicles. At present the system is being tested at Tanabe in the Wakayama Prefecture.

The system enables the Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which handles emergency calls, to determine whether an emergency vehicle is required at the scene. The ministry of statistics revealed that about one-third of emergency calls made in Japan were for light injuries, while the other incidents did not qualify as emergencies.

The system was introduced after the ministry revealed information about call statistics. The ministry added that there is a series of questions on a computer terminal located in the fire department control room, which the telephone operator uses to determine the level of emergency.

The operator enquirers about the patient’s breathing and other symptoms and this information is entered into the computer database. After the data entry process is complete, the database returns a judgement on the seriousness of the condition of the patient, on the scale of one to four.

A spokesperson from the ministry said that the pilot scheme will run till January next year. In the month of January, 2013, the ministry will analyse the data collected by the system and will then decide when to put it into production.


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