EENA Awards 112 Georgia for Best Innovative Efforts in Disability Support

Georgia was among the winners of the annual European Emergency Number Association (EENA) Award. The country’s 112 emergency service was named the best for its innovative efforts to ensure that the entire community, including people with special needs, is able to get help when needed.

The emergency hotline 112 of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia introduced its service in March 2015. SMS and video call connection was created for those who cannot hear or speak. The service for people with hearing and speech impairments is available 24/7 throughout Georgia, free of charge. In order to have better communication and service provision, the creators of the program ask prior registration as an obligatory condition.

Georgia joined the EENA on September 3, 2013 and began a systematized call process for medical services, Patrol Police and Fire/Rescue. The new SMS and video call service has made it available for everyone and has earned the trust of the population.

“We created this service to give people with disabilities an opportunity to contact us very easily and independently. Moreover, the EENA award is an impetus for us to move forward, to improve and create new services and to save more lives,” said Giorgi Bichashvili, the Director of 112 Georgia.

Chair of the EENA Advisory Board, Demetrios Pyrros, named this as an important step to supporting people with disabilities. “It was a pleasure for us to give an award to Georgia for the second time, this time in recognition of the assessment of people with disabilities,” said Pyrros. The previous Award, “Outstanding Citizen,” was given tor 8-year-old Aleksandr Blozhadze from Georgia.

“It was also important to show that the message of 112 message is not confined within the boundaries of the European Union, but also goes outside to other countries which support 112’s initiative,” Pyrros added.

EENA is a Brussels-based non-governmental organization set up in 1999 dedicated to promoting high-quality emergency services reached by the number 112 throughout Europe. EENA memberships include more than 1200 emergency services representatives from more than 80 countries worldwide, 75 solution providers, 15 international associations or organizations, more than 200 Members of the European Parliament and more than 90 researchers.

Eka Karsaulidze

14 April 2016 19:42