Emergency management in India

Few days back, I was talking to my friend in Dallas about his comeback plans to India. He narrated two incidents to me. First one is how a 911 call saved his colleague who got stroke in office when emergency workers rushed and provided medical help within minutes. And the other one is about a fire alarm in his house triggering an emergency call and how he was offered help with in few minutes by a team of emergency workers, though it was a very minor incident.

Well, his point is functioning systems like 911 acts like an extended family during emergency so that you won’t miss your uncles or neighbours whom you heavily depend on during such emergency situations in India. Having enjoyed such comforts, it will be difficult for him to think about moving his family to India.

How true it is? In US emergency system 911 covers police, fire department, medical services and other related emergency services. In India we have different numbers for individual services, like 100 for Police, 101 for Fire Department. That again varies with different states. Also these systems don’t identify the caller’s location automatically like the advanced emergency systems in the developed nations.

Our Government already has its bag full of problems like providing basic necessities like food, water and electricity to all people. So we can’t expect them to provide comprehensive emergency management like 911. The best way to go forward would be private participation with Govt. support. And that’s exactly is happening already in states like Andhra Pradesh.

Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) was established in Andhra Pradesh with initial funding provided by Ramalinga Raju, chairman Satyam Computers and his brothers. Satyam Computer Services Ltd. is a strategic partner to EMRI and contributes to technology, processes and knowledge management.

EMRI provides comprehensive emergency management services using a single, toll-free number 108. The number 108 is used as the centralized helpline for medical, police and fire emergencies. Now this scheme was extended to the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh also.

I wish more states to join this system and help provide a centralized emergency management service for India.


  1. If I remember correctly there was a private security company (owned by a popular page 3 face) who started a similar service in Mumbai. You paid a monthly fee to subscribe to the service and if there was any emergency you could call their helpline.

    I don’t know successful was this or whether it even made any case studies for themselves.

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