The Estonian Emergency Response Centre is an independent national rescue service agency in the area of government of the Ministry of Interior where approximately 250 people work to provide emergency help. The Emergency Response Centre receives all emergency notifications from the emergency phone number 112 and sends out ambulance, rescue workers and the police. The Emergency Response Centre receives more than one million emergency calls per year. Ambulance, rescue workers and the police are sent to approximately half a million, ca 450,000, emergency cases per year.
The Emergency Response Centre has four regional centres – in Tallinn, Tartu, Jõhvi and Pärnu. The rescue coordinators of the Emergency Response Centre and the duty officers of the Police and Border Guard Board work together in common work rooms.
The independent Emergency Response Centre was created to carry out the transfer of the emergency phone number 112 as of 1 January 2012, to service the emergency phone number 112 and to develop the emergency service. Before, the Emergency Response Centre was under the Rescue Board.
The Emergency Response Centre has a two-step work organisation – the 1st level answers all of the emergency calls of number 112 and the 2nd level sends out help and that already during the call, if necessary.
The 1st level or the rescue coordinators answer the calls, determine the need for help and the location of the event and enter the data into the information system in real time, based on which the 2nd level or the logistician gives an order to respond to the ambulance and to the rescuers. Upon a police emergency call, the duty officer working in the same room sends out a patrol. The Emergency Response Centre will connect the notification of an accident that happened on the sea and the transboundary water bodies to the Rescue and Coordination Centre of the Police and Border Guard Board whose sphere of responsibility the response to a maritime rescue event is.
The Emergency Response Centre services the people in need of help in cooperation with the Rescue Board, the Health Board and the Police and Border Guard Board.
In addition to the emergency phone number 112, the Emergency Response Centre services also the help and information lines where you can call with problems that are not so time-critical. The employees of the Emergency Rescue Centre answer the information line of the Rescue Service 1524, the local government help line 1345, the environmental emergency hotline 1313 and the road information line 1510. The help and information centre also sends the problems to other institutions to be solved and mediates important information to the people.
The Emergency Response Centre has the capability and the readiness to open help and information lines in an emergency upon a major accident as a crisis information line. The purpose of the crisis information line is to give recommendations and instructions on how to act in an emergency and also to collect and share information.