Emergency Center Chaos: Severe Staff Shortage Leaves Calls Unanswered and Lives at Risk

2023-09-12 17:08:48

Total panic at the 112 emergency center. In fact, this Monday, no operator was present. Normally, four people are present in the Flemish Brabant center. However, as our colleagues from Nieuwsblad report, a serious shortage of personnel caused this situation.

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“But due to a severe staff shortage, only two people were registered for Monday. Of these two people, one declared himself ill and the other simply did not show up,” explains a source to Nieuwsblad. Thus, “even the technician who ensures the operation of the computers had to intervene to respond to emergency calls”

Also, dozens of calls went unanswered. “It’s terrible to say, but we estimate that we were unable to respond to about 30-40 emergency calls.” These people could not be called back either. Nobody knows if there are vital prognoses following this big problem.

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Kelly de Wilde from the ACV explains to Nieuwsblad: “Due to the staff shortage, the work has become too difficult for those who remain. Concentrating for 12 hours, asking focused questions and hearing all those emotional questions in the process is an extremely demanding task. Furthermore, the lack of staff is the same in all Belgian control rooms. It’s not just in Flemish Brabant.” A very worrying situation…

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Contacted by Nieuwsblad, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) has not yet responded.

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