Brief Introduction on Answering Emergency Call in Foreign Languages at the "110” Alarm Service Desk of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau

Since the “110” alarm service platform of Shanghai Municipal Public Security opened in May of the year 1993, it has persisted in the purpose of serving the people wholeheartedly and devotedly performed the function of “fighting crime and serving the people”. It has won the good opinions of the vast numbers of citizens. “110” has created a fine social brand, which is deeply implanted in the hearts of the people day by day. Along with the entry of China into the WTO and the success of Shanghai in bidding for The World Expo 2010, Shanghai has become an international metropolis, which is the focus of world attention. It is also praised as one of the safest cities in the world by common people. In order to better present the good image of the Shanghai police who aide in the upkeep of a safe and considerate social environment and provide better service for the foreign guests studying, investing, living and traveling in Shanghai, “110” alarm service platform of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau formally introduced a foreign language service for answering emergency calls on the 10th anniversary of it’s inception on May 1 of the year 2003.

Presently, there are altogether 19 “110” volunteer interpreters who serve by answering emergency calls day and night. They undertake the interpreting work of answering emergency calls in 8 languages, such as English, German, Japanese, Korea, Russia, French, Arabic and Spanish. These 19 volunteers all come from The Shanghai Public Security System, and the average age of them is 28 years. The main body of volunteers are young policemen, and the volunteers are mostly graduates from the Shanghai Foreign Language University, Fudan University, Beijing University and Jilin Yanbian University, etc. with rather high foreign language proficiency level.

When the “110” operator from the Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau receives an alarm call from a foreigner, it will be put through and transferred to the mobile phone of a volunteer interpreter via the function of “tripartite communication by telephone” on the platform of answering emergency. The operator then takes charge of asking questions, and the volunteer interpreter takes charge of interpreting. After the operator finds out the primary fact, he will issue a directive of dealing with this alarm to the territorial public security organs. After the policemen receive the directive, they will rush to the spot and deal with the emergency. As the occasion demands, the volunteer interpreters can also provide online foreign language interpretation service for those policemen dealing with the emergency.

Since the foreign language service for answering emergency has been open for half a year, it has operated properly and been highly commended by foreigners. We should say, though it is only one of the most important links that China has with the international community and yet this measure is of special significance to further improve investment environment and promote economic development.