One emergency number will reach all of Israel's emergency services, under a bill proposed this week.
Currently, there are separate numbers for the police, Magen David Adom and the fire department.
The draft bill, proposed by Knesset Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni and MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), would create a single toll-free number for these services and any others the Communications Ministry chooses to add.
"This is an important initiative," said Ze'ev Kashash, chairman of the rescue services organization United Hatzalah. "This bill would help us receive calls as quickly as possible and send the closest volunteers to the scene."
"The idea has been around for several years. We've seen many cases where people in distress call the police instead of MDA or MDA instead of the fire department, and time is crucial," Kashash said.
"It is important that the call center can send all necessary services to the scene, because sometimes people call only one emergency service, hoping they will alert the rest - which doesn't always happen."
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