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Unified Emergency Services Hotline Being Set Up Across Russia

The 24-hour-hotline combining Russia's emergency services will be operational in nine regions and all major cities by the end of 2013.

The freephone number, 112, combines those of the fire service, 01, the police, 02, ambulances, 03. However, all of the separate numbers will continue to work during the transition period, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said.

The hotline will be available from landlines as well as mobile telephones, RIA Novosti reported.

The new service has already been piloted successfully in the republic of Tatarstan and the Kursk region Puchkov said.

In March 2013 the Federal Target Program approved creating a 112 emergency number. It is expected that by 2017 the system will work in 67 regions, for which 40 billion rubles ($1.2 billion) will be allocated from the budget.

Telecom operators can also give information about the location of their subscribers to the emergency services, in accordance with legislation that was submitted to the State Duma in mid-July.

The new system allows the emergency services to reduce their response time and select the most suitable means of providing assistance.

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