1722 hotline to be staffed permanently

The 1722 hotline for non-urgent interventions by the emergency services will soon become operational all the time. Currently 1722 is only operational in exceptional circumstance, usually during storms. The Interior Ministry’s Erwin Hertens told the daily ‘De Standaard that “The Department of the Interior wants to make the provision of emergency services more efficient.

Over the past few days the 1722 hotline was open to deal with calls related to the storms. Currently, the Interior Ministry opens the 1722 hotline whenever it receives forecasts of storms or other adverse weather conditions from the Royal Metrological Institute (KMI). Once the weather conditions have returned to normal the line is closed down again. However, this is set to change.   

Mr Hertens told the paper that “Outside the period covered by a KMI yellow or orange weather warning people can encounter a situation that requires non-urgent, yet necessary action by the Fire Service. However, it is not yet clear from when the 1722 hotline will be staffed permanently. Mr Hertens hopes that this will be the case from the first half of 2020. Making the 1722 hotline available all the time is part of a broader series of reforms to the way in which we can contact the emergency services.

The Department of the Interior is also developing a digital platform through which people will be able to request non-urgent assistance from the Fire Service. The 101 emergency number will be scrapped. In future there will be just one number to call for urgent assistance 112.               

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