Gyeonggi firefighters decide not to respond to ‘non-emergency’ 119 calls

By Lim Jeong-yeo
  • Published : Mar 13, 2018 - 14:43
  • Updated : Mar 13, 2018 - 14:43
Firefighters in Gyeonggi Province will no longer have to respond to calls from people locked out of their homes, becoming the first group of firefighters to do so here.

Gyeonggi-do Fire Services made the announcement Monday, sparking online reactions that included those who said that this action should have been taken long ago.

“Those who have mobilized fire fighters as if they were errand runners should be sorry,” wrote one online user. 

Fire fighters (Yonhap)

“If you lock yourself out of your home, you ought to call a locksmith and pay the due fee rather than ask 119 to help and waste taxpayers’ money,” said another.

With the latest decision by the authorities, fire departments in Gyeonggi Province now have the option to refuse to take action for non-emergency cases such as unlocking doors and rescuing animals. They can instead focus their manpower on putting out fires, transporting emergency patients and handling wild beast attacks.

The 119 agents will still be dispatched for cases in which it is difficult to determine the seriousness, such as “an odd smell coming from inside the house.”

By Lim Jeong-yeo (