Sofia Echo

Bulgaria

Lost in translation: the 112 emergency hot-line fiasco

Author: Nick Iliev Date: Tue, Feb 02 2010 59 Comments, 6870 Views
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Bulgaria has put in place the European emergency hotline format, an international service designed so that people in distress or an emergency situation can ring 112 and seek assistance. Presumably, as the 112 is an international emergency hotline, one would expect that all operators in the control room to have at least basic fluency in English.

Sadly, all did not go according to plan when the daughter of a British woman, currently resident in Pamporovo with her 16 children, most of whom are adopted, tried to summon assistance.

On January 31 2010, Bulgarian media reported that two British women were reported "lost" in the Bulgarian ski resort of Pamporovo near the Stoikite slope, citing information from the Interior Ministry regional police directorate in Smolyan.

In reality, the 20-year-old daughter of Amanda Mary had dialled the emergency services from her home, after her mother began experiencing the symptoms of a stroke. The operator, who spoke no English, disconnected the call three times, Mary told The Sofia Echo.

When Mary's daughter finally got through to the emergency hotline again, she explained that her mother had suffered a stroke, and proceeded to explain to the operator that her house is close to ski station six in Stoikite. Presumably, this reference was necessary after the operator did not understand the address provided.

The Sofia Echo has understood that no ambulance or paramedics arrived at the scene for 12 hours, when, reportedly, a "phone call got through" from a doctor asking "if he could assist".

Mary said she only survived because she received assistance from her husband, who had medical training. She told The Sofia Echo that she has lived in Bulgaria for six years, and while she speaks Bulgarian she could not reach the phone as she was temporarily paralised. Her visiting daughter, however, had no option but to address the call centre in English.

To add insult to injury, the 112 operator not only "misunderstood" the woman's address but then told the authorities that "two British women were lost in the mountains near the Stoikite ski lift". In the ensuing chaos, a patrol of Mountain Rescue Service was dispatched to the scene, who, according to Bulgarian media, "combed the mountain for six hours, looking for lost British tourists who were never there in the first place".

"If assistance came I may have been able to be treated and would not have lost the use of my left hand," Mary said.

This is not the first time the 112 has been in the spotlight. There are cases of Bulgarians dialling the 112 hotline, requesting emergency, and then being told to call the standard Bulgarian ambulance hotline 150 because the 112 is "reserved for foreigners". In this case, however, a foreigner dialled 112 and was confronted with an operator who could not understand basic English.

The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) recommended the use of 112 as far back as 1972. Subsequently, the European Union adopted the 112 number as a standard on July 29 1991. It is now a valid emergency number throughout EU countries and in many other CEPT countries, Bulgaria included. It works in parallel with other local emergency numbers in about two thirds of EU states, also the case in Bulgaria, as there is also the more commonly known 150 number.

Many countries' public telephone networks have a single emergency (which in Bulgaria was the old 150 number), sometimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or, occasionally, the emergency services number, that allows a caller to contact local emergency services for assistance.

The introduction of the 112 in Bulgaria, however, is meant so that mobile phones can be used in countries with different emergency numbers, whereby a traveller, visiting a foreign country does not have to know the local emergency numbers, because the mobile phone and the SIM card have a pre-programmed list of emergency numbers. When the user tries to set up a call using an emergency number known by a GSM or 3G phone, the special emergency call setup takes place. The actual number is not even transmitted into the network, but the network redirects the emergency call to the local emergency desk

The 112 emergency hotline is part of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, who were unavailable for comment. In case of emergency, useful numbers in Bulgaria are: police – 166; ambulance – 150; firefighters – 160.

  • UK citizens in Pamporovo not lost, but lost in translation
    • Anonymous
      1 Rating:
      neutral
      #59 22, 37, Tue, Nov 23 2010

      to Mr.JimJay

      There was an anecdote about two very sofisticated foreigners-poliglots who happened to pass trough some remote part of an eastern country. They tryed to ask a local couple about the direction and accosted them in Russian, at first. As there was no answer to fallow, they tryed consecutively French, German, Italian, Greek, and even a rare form of Serbo-Croatian dialect - all with the same result. After the foreigners went away in despair, one of the residents said to the other -
      "We've got to learn languages,so we could understand people [...]

      Read the full comment better." -
      "Why, as those two spoke so many, did they understand anything?"-
      The other replyied

    • Anonymous
      Ralitza Rating:
      neutral
      #58 21, 53, Tue, Nov 23 2010

      Early this morning I became a witness of an extremely brutal fight on the street - about ten guys were rolling over each other right infront of my feet. I called 112 immediately, and gues what happened - the "lady" who answerred the phone, made me describe the situation/which took minutes and is not her business. She is supposed to connect me to the apropriate survices as soon as possible./However, while I was answering her inexpedient inquiry, the incident was over.I couldn't describe much, nor could I tell in what direction exactly they had gone but I INSISTED THAT [...]

      Read the full comment THE POLICE SHOULD BETTER SEND A CAR THERE, moreover that such incidents does often happen in the so-called "University City" in Sofia. NOT SO LONG AGO, AS A RESULT OF A SIMILAR STREET FIGHT, A MEDICAL STUDENT WAS MURDERED NERE THERE.I, myself had called just last month for the same reason/AND IT WAS A GOOD ONE/. While previously the services really reacted adequately, THIS TIME THE OPERATOR ASKED ME WHEATHER THERE WAS AREAL NEED OF SENDING SOMEONE, MADE ME FEEL STUPID, WISHED ME "NICE EVENING", AND JUST HANG UP.
      On second thought, perhaps it would really be much better if these people are left to kill each other together with the careless 112-operator./as they actually are/

    • Anonymous
      Pinko Rating:
      neutral
      #57 12, 34, Mon, May 31 2010

      Well this is typical :), a bunch of useless workers on a hotline. I am amazed that it took them 12 hours to call back. If there was a person with a little bit a brain in his head, he would call and confirm the situation. As usual the clerk on 112 line has a perception for higher authority and checking is not an option. That reminds me for a police case where a woman was reported as abducted and the police spend 4 hours waiting for her in front of her apartment without even asking the person who knew [...]

      Read the full comment her where she lives. Of course the Police database was outdated and they just wasted their time and acted as miserable governmental clerks instead of real police investigators. But that all the same in Eastern Europe – The Communism brainwashed so many people and now there is nothing useful left.

    • Anonymous
      Amanda Rating:
      neutral
      #56 20, 49, Thu, Feb 11 2010

      Nick up-dated this story, this is a true account:

      Bulgaria has put in place the European emergency hotline format, an international service designed so that people in distress or an emergency situation can ring 112 and seek assistance. Presumably, as the 112 is an international emergency hotline, one would expect that all operators in the control room to have at least basic fluency in English.

      Sadly, all did not go according to plan when the daughter of a British woman tried to summon assistance.

      On January 31 2010, [...]

      Read the full comment Bulgarian media reported that two British women were reported "lost" in the mountain near the Bulgarian ski resort of Pamporovo, citing information from the Interior Ministry regional police directorate in Smolyan.

      In reality, the daughter of the British woman had dialled the emergency services from her home, after her mother began experiencing the symptoms of a stroke. The operator, who spoke no English, disconnected the call three times, she told The Sofia Echo.

      When the daughter finally got through to the emergency hotline again, she explained that her mother had suffered a stroke, and proceeded to explain to the operator the location of her house. Presumably, this reference was necessary after the operator did not understand the address provided.

      The Sofia Echo has understood that no ambulance or paramedics arrived at the scene for 12 hours, when, reportedly, a "phone call got through" from a doctor asking "if he could assist".

      The British woman said she only survived because she received assistance from her husband, who had medical training. She told The Sofia Echo that she has lived in Bulgaria for several years, and while she speaks Bulgarian she could not reach the phone as she was temporarily paralised. Her visiting daughter, however, had no option but to address the call centre in English.

      To add insult to injury, the 112 operator not only "misunderstood" the woman's address but then told the authorities that "two British women were lost in the mountains near Pamporovo". In the ensuing chaos, a patrol of Mountain Rescue Service was dispatched to the scene, who, according to Bulgarian media, "combed the mountain for six hours, looking for lost British tourists who were never there in the first place".

      "If assistance came I may have been able to be treated and would not have lost the use of my left hand" the woman explained.



      This is not the first time the 112 has been in the spotlight. There are cases of Bulgarians dialling the 112 hotline, requesting emergency, and then being told to call the standard Bulgarian ambulance hotline 150 because the 112 is "reserved for foreigners". In this case, however, a foreigner dialled 112 and was confronted with an operator who could not understand basic English.

      The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) recommended the use of 112 as far back as 1972. Subsequently, the European Union adopted the 112 number as a standard on July 29 1991. It is now a valid emergency number throughout EU countries and in many other CEPT countries, Bulgaria included. It works in parallel with other local emergency numbers in about two thirds of EU states, also the case in Bulgaria, as there is also the more commonly known 150 number.

      Many countries' public telephone networks have a single emergency (which in Bulgaria was the old 150 number), sometimes known as the universal emergency telephone number or, occasionally, the emergency services number, that allows a caller to contact local emergency services for assistance.

      The introduction of the 112 in Bulgaria, however, is meant so that mobile phones can be used in countries with different emergency numbers, whereby a traveller, visiting a foreign country does not have to know the local emergency numbers, because the mobile phone and the SIM card have a pre-programmed list of emergency numbers. When the user tries to set up a call using an emergency number known by a GSM or 3G phone, the special emergency call setup takes place. The actual number is not even transmitted into the network, but the network redirects the emergency call to the local emergency desk

      The 112 emergency hotline is part of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry, who were unavailable for comment. In case of emergency, useful numbers in Bulgaria are: police – 166; ambulance – 150; firefighters – 160.


      what happened was inexcusable

    • Anonymous
      Stefcho Rating:
      neutral
      #55 16, 49, Wed, Feb 10 2010

      It's also obvious that the Echo has decided that this topic was not in the list of the most talked about issues. I smell censorship and Echo I'm surprised at you for this, let people have open and honest exchanges and the 112 issue was probably the most talked about issue on Tues and you you removed it on Wed. that's just not right.

    • Anonymous
      1 Rating:
      neutral
      #54 20, 35, Tue, Feb 09 2010

      I am not a doctor or anything related to medical care. I did not say that a stroke does not require urgent care.

      I was simply highlighting that the article makes no sense. If this woman had suffered a stroke then her partner could not have done anything for her, other than getting to her a doctor and thus the drugs.

      She is quoted as saying that his medical training saved her life.

      Anyway, all of this is irrelevant since she did not suffer a stroke. She is [...]

      Read the full comment under a lot of pressure from hundreds of people for being 'found out', with regards to her fraudulent business practices. This is not the first time she has faked injury in an attempt to get out of a situation.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #53 18, 54, Tue, Feb 09 2010

      Lol, Stefcho,
      the only comment I have is that, please leave some space between your paragraphs, so that I don't get dizzy reading;)

      I actually agree with you. Just because she is a crack pot they can't just go to lunch. I can see how if she's called 100 times, and they recognize her, the urgency may weaken though. It can happen in any small town, and in BG especially.
      In addition to being fitness fanatic, I am slight case of hypochondriac, so when I call my doctor, who is also my [...]

      Read the full comment close friend (probably not a good idea) she sometimes tells me "I think you are dying" as a joke - she's stopped taking me seriously long time a go.
      As far as your GF - I think you read me wrong. I am not against people going to and living in all kinds of places. I did the same. The only thing I am against is then coming back to BG and acting outraged at simple things, quite forgetting that they would've been the same way, had they not acquired the additional experience. The reason I think women are more (though not always) prone to this, is the added inevitable bump they get, on the 1 to 10 scale, just by moving to the States - if purely on account of being relatively skinny for the US (although, I am sure in your case she's a knockout anywhere) .
      BG men are spoiled and the attention she is going to get in the US - in every day settings - won't be the same in BG.
      Sometimes, that's hard for our girls and they get even more resentful and impatient in BG. It doesn't affect all, by any means.
      Nor is it limited to women. Weak nervous men, incapable of succeeding in BG's tough transitional environment, are also prone to dramatic emotional exaggerations like the ONLY IN BULGARIA!!! post below. Who knows. Lots of lost souls in our long transition...

      So I usually reframe from defending or attacking actors in cases like this 112 example and others, especially if I wasn't personally familiar with the situation - placing things in perspective is important though...

    • Anonymous
      Stefcho Rating:
      neutral
      #52 14, 14, Tue, Feb 09 2010

      I'm sorry I couldn't help myself, it seems that 1 you have an insight into this case so my guess is your a DR. or Ambulance driver. First of all, whatever you are you don't think that a stroke patient requires any urgent care, is this your professional opinion? Second, even if this woman was a crack pot it does not forgive not going and checking on her within a certain time frame. Your comments are unbelievable to me that you would even say such a thing and of course yes now your going to get myself and my online [...]

      Read the full comment friend Valeri into an argument over what I'm about to say and I just can't help myself. If you are an MD then shame on you and it goes to show just how uneducated Bulgarian Drs really are, she would not require any urgent medical attention, I believe this is your opinion. Yes drugs, drugs that should and must be given within the first several hrs of systoms, clot busters as we say, but that is not what is upsetting me, it this attitude. I've been told by my friend that this is just how it is and will take years to overcome. I'm about to have my girlfriend come over to the states and this is for you Valeri and get married and you seem to be saying that her being here will somehow infect her with some social disorder that will turn her against her country men. I disagree totally, knowing her she loves her beloved Bulgaria and if she had the chance to come back and share what she has learned in the states, the people would be resistent to it anyway and you know this, it's don't the Bulgarian way or no way at all, this is the problem. This Bulgarian pride will not allow themselves to accept an opinion from someone other then themselves. I have lived this senerio for every year I lived and "tried" to teach Bulgarian Drs any type of something new, they would pretent to be paying attention and then as soon as I turned my back they would divert right back to their bad habits and I'm talking about in the Operating room and Valeri this just wasn't over a week's time it was over several years time, they don't want to grow or evolve. Valeri you always have a way to explain this sydrom to me and yes I'm beginning to understand it and you are correct, it will take generations. I will not apolgize however that the woman I intend to marry will come to the states and forget her country. Will she think a little differently after spending time in the states, you know it because it has affected you the very same way. I didn't mean to get into this, I always enjoy exchanging bander with you, you know this and we have always had polite disagreements. But it has to end somewhere, this so called BG mentality sounds like an excuse to me, I'm not buying it sorry, I think that if people were given a much more fair wage and incentive to get better educated and take pride in there professions, they would do just as good a job as anyone anywhere. I do agree, there is certainly a problem in BG and you've helped me to understand it somewhat better but after my 8 yrs in BG I've seen it all, the good the bad and the ugly. But I also see so much potential as well and I think this should be the starting point.
      P.S. As for censorship of the Echo, I didn't see what they erased by they have shut me down and it was not for using bad words or anything, I think it was just a heated exchange that Valeri and I once had and we do this often. I hope the Echo don't continue with this practice or yes I will stop reading it as well.
      TO all you Bulgarians, stay warm be careful in this snow and watch them crazy drivers and take care of yourselves.

    • Anonymous
      Stefcho Rating:
      neutral
      #51 18, 59, Mon, Feb 08 2010

      WOW, Valeri, what the heck have I missed? I'm not going to even get involved in this one but It's always nice to see you "try" to put things into perspective for people and not getting any common sense in return. Good luck with the snow, stay safe and take it easy.

    • Anonymous
      1 Rating:
      neutral
      #50 17, 38, Mon, Feb 08 2010

      My discussion was 'on topic'. I do have plenty of evidence to suggest this person did not have a stroke and therefore the reporting is questionable. I have been forwarded emails originating from this woman that were sent the day of, the day after and several days after the alleged stroke. Hardly the actions of a stroke victim. Also, there is no first aid treatment for a stroke, drugs are required. I previously posted links to forums where many people have discussed their dealings with the woman, thus backing up my claim that she is a con-woman. Deleted along with [...]

      Read the full comment my comments. Great work Mod.

      It also goes to show that the 112 emergency line is therefore being unfairly hammered on, since no mistake was made.

      Deleting everyone's comments for disagreeing with or questioning the article will quickly help your website lose visitors and discourage comments if they are just going to be deleted.

      What is the point of allowing comments if half are going to be deleted? The purpose of comments is to discuss the article contents, which I have done. It also gives the opportunity to provide alternative viewpoints, which I have also done.

      If you delete again then please provide a suitable reason.

      Peace

    • Profile preview
      TSE Moderator Rating: 8
      neutral
      #49 12, 49, Mon, Feb 08 2010

      Shall we try to keep this discussion on topic?
      Accusations of any past wrongdoings of whoever hardly contribute to a discussion, and are, if they go without any form of proof slanderous.

      Also, if you feel the need to insult someone because you do not agree with whatever he or she said, then maybe you should reconsider what it was that this person said that makes you feel this way and try to put that into words, rather than just blurt out some obscenities which only get your comment removed and might get you [...]

      Read the full comment banned here. ;)

    • Anonymous1Fri, Feb 05 2010

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      Anonymous1Fri, Feb 05 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Winky Rating:
      neutral
      #46 15, 13, Thu, Feb 04 2010

      I think all of these comments have drifted away from the actual subject.

      It should go without saying that an emergency operator should also speak English.

      We are not only talking about Bulgaria or England. If you were in another European country you be happy if the operator spoke english if you were in trouble as it seems all the non english people here making comments understand English.



    • AnonymousWinkyThu, Feb 04 2010

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      AnonymousWollyThu, Feb 04 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Raptor Rating:
      neutral
      #43 09, 20, Thu, Feb 04 2010

      Bill this service is not dependent on someone having language skills. It is an EU accredited emergency centre number for those in need irrespective of Nationality or their language ability.

      Bulgaria promotes itself as a active "tourist destination" and even a place to live for foreigners,therefore it should obviously make it basic policy that its operators will no doubt in some point time have to deal with calls from non-Bulgarians to expect that language barriers could arrive.

      According to some of the comments here,the service is only "open" to those who speak [...]

      Read the full comment Bulgarian or basic Bulgarian. Where does it say this in the EU or Bulgarian legislation...!!??

      The service is strictly non discriminatory for good reason.

      What is strange in this case is that the service obviously failed to locate and establish the location of the caller automatically which is part of the 112 requirement.







    • Anonymous
      Bill Rating:
      neutral
      #42 23, 12, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      Why don't the whining Brits learn to speak some basic Bulgarian when living or visiting. Don't blame the BG culture you are a visitor.

    • AnonymousValeriWed, Feb 03 2010

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      AnonymousCosmosWed, Feb 03 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #37 19, 32, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      No BG,
      there is no such a thing as " naturally" anything, except habit, which is often people's primery motivation and driving force.
      Habits, howver, are harder to change, and more so in a collective group of people, because humans tend to infuence each other.
      This is why, on individual level, is important where you grew up, or went to school.
      Lack personal exposure to, and contact with the West (almost certain for the average Bulgarian government employee) is a pretty unforgiving reality when you think about it. All they are left [...]

      Read the full comment with is the lifetimes of Socialist work habits, or the mentality of the terrible (criminal) transition in the 90s.

      Now, when one of us leaves and works in the west, that drastic change of
      environment is very instrumental in affecting our outlooks an work culture.
      So basically, our habits go through a crush course change driven by environment.
      That's when the quality of your personal formative years begins to emerge - the dergree of understanding and even basic human compassion you can muster for your fellow countrymen, less advanced in their "westernization" as it were...
      It's very hard, for they can frustrate very simple tasks in your daily life with their lack of professionalism or even cocern, but this is what makes it important for you to overcome it, and ask yourself the question, would I be similar to tha, had I not gone through my personal "crush course", and the anwsre is probably less comfortable than you think...
      Excuse the spelling, it's harder from the phone.


    • AnonymousmeWed, Feb 03 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Rumy Rating:
      neutral
      #35 14, 43, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      Wait a minute, as an expat in both countries, living in Central London, I could say that Bulgaria ahs lost its reliable medical services for everyone, worst hit are the elderly Bulgarians, not the foreigners, the emergency services are relatively good for everyone in active age, however in London you have someone to take the call, but you often do not get help and leave the ER with no diagnosis if more complicated to identify the reasons for pain or high temperature and are often sent home with the classic paraceutamol. Let's us not generalise.

    • Anonymous
      BG Rating:
      neutral
      #34 14, 32, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      Valeri, You are saying that Bulgarians are naturally rude people and have no manners to act professionals over the phone and therefore it would take years and generations to change their attitude?

    • Anonymous
      to Andreas Rating:
      neutral
      #33 09, 48, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      "Don't you think it would be better to highlight the pros/cons of the 112 service with recent, more topical news. Not with an incident that supposedly happened years ago"

      this incident happened three days ago.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #32 09, 39, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      Well Now I got my feelings hurt... Is this how you threat someone you waited "the whole day" for?

      I am here - for you;)

    • Anonymous
      andreas Rating:
      neutral
      #31 09, 31, Wed, Feb 03 2010

      Don't you think it would be better to highlight the pros/cons of the 112 service with recent, more topical news. Not with an incident that supposedly happened years ago.

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    • Anonymous
      JG Rating:
      neutral
      #24 22, 49, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      My Bulgarian is not very good. I just started to learn it because my fiancé and I will move to Bulgaria in two years. First I have to learn proper Bulgarian, I have to communicate with a family that speaks only Bulgarian so I have to. One big question. Why did the daughter did not go to the neigbours? They would have understood her mother and could have phoned. It is so simple.
      Progres in any country also my "beloved" Holland goes like this: Yesterday we stood at the edge of the abyss. Today we are one step [...]

      Read the full comment further.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #23 22, 09, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      That's exactly what I am telling Bulgaria - stop whining! She won't listen... I should spank her;)

      Sorry but this is not a very intelligent post.
      You can shoot them if you like, but that stuff will still change slowly - decades, and perhaps generations. It's not a matter of whining, but general qualifications. It's very hard to find qualified employees in practically every area.
      If they fire the people every time the show their lack of professionalism, and who's gonna do the jobs? Your elderly parents whom you left in BG [...]

      Read the full comment while you are pretending to be foreign national in the country you immigrated to?

      Come back to BG and get a job as an emergency operator - your English seems good enough, although your common sense - less easy to say...

    • Anonymous
      BG Rating:
      neutral
      #22 21, 49, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      Bulgaria should stop whining and make excuses when they fail in delivering basic services. The chief that hired the dispatcher should have known that he/she don't qualify for the job and find someone else to fulfill the job.

      I think the chief should be fire along with all the incompetent staff in the department, and start all over with new staff that meets minimum requirements ie fluently in all languages Bulgaria offers for the 211 service.

    • Anonymous1Tue, Feb 02 2010

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      AnonymousazTue, Feb 02 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #19 20, 03, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      "i have been waiting for his "anti British comment" all day long."

      Seriously, you should consider a better use of your time.

      On the incident - I can tell you 1000 even worse cases of incompetence of Bulgarian government and even private employees. The point though, is that without considering the context, all this is pretty useless exhibition of your natural European tribal inclinations.

      A country with zero living memory of interaction with the West (until, realistically 10 years a go, because the 90s could hardly classify for [...]

      Read the full comment "interactive", considering that most of us couldn't travel, and I am not talking about BG immigrants who after a few years in the west, just can't comprehend the backwardness of their parents - pathetic), institutes a European Emergency Hotline, and overnight you expect it to work as if it would in Germany?

      You have to look at the whole picture - this woman is residing in BG with her 16 adoptive children - well, she has her reasons, but I am willing to bet that everything that's prompted her to make this choice, is somehow related to the lack of professionalism in BG - most notably the low cost, which comes from low productivity (lack of professionalism) and so on, but other factors as well. This is just the other side of the coin and the catch about living in a place, where you could live with 16 children.

      She should try adopting and living with 16 children in Germany - great 112 service, but completely out of reach for someone like her.

      So nothing anti-British. My only problem is with less educated Brits, like yourself Cosmos (I presume it's you), who have little historical and cultural perspective on issues they confront.

      General incompetence can keep a society down, yet for the few clever ones, it could be a windfall. My brother and I, often lament the lack of elementary logic in our employees, and I always have to remind him that if they were smarter, we'd be working for them, not the other way around.

      It's just a matter of using adversity, and transform it into opportunity.

    • Anonymous
      ex brit Rating:
      neutral
      #18 19, 44, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      theres some numptys on here, this is about the call centre 112 , not about jimjay. he as some good points about if you live here try and learn it that means anywere you live same for the bulgatians that live in england, as were first to complain about foriegners there its double standards for some people on here. also its not ONLY IN BULGARIA. numpty englands like this too .Afrer all i am english and ive lived there long enough to see what, and hear what, goes on. we were straight away saying if they want to live in [...]

      Read the full comment this country they must speak english.ok as they say in england then, if you dont like it get the next plane home . but dont complain.

    • Anonymous
      DG Rating:
      neutral
      #17 18, 51, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      Well, there's got to be a way to outsource the whole thing.. put it in private hands. I am sure the job can be done better, cheaper and with more responsibility. Yes, there will be someone real to blame and sue in cases like that.

    • Anonymous
      john Rating:
      neutral
      #16 18, 38, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      what do you expect, this is Bulgaria none of them know what to do in any situation

    • AnonymousvinceTue, Feb 02 2010

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    • Anonymous
      Mountaineer Rating:
      neutral
      #14 17, 56, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      the 112 all centre should be sued. the ministry should be sued. wasting the resources of the PSS to send them up the mountain on a wild goose chase?

      the woman could have died. the land of Monty Pythos strikes again.

    • Anonymouswhere is Valeri?Tue, Feb 02 2010

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    • Anonymous
      andybay Rating:
      neutral
      #12 17, 18, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      JimJay,your so clever,you speak Bulgarian ;)
      You may speak all the languages that the Bulgarian 112 operates in but they wouldn't understand you cos they don't speak those languages...Thats the point?!?

    • AnonymousanonTue, Feb 02 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous
      jed Rating:
      neutral
      #10 17, 06, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      “ The point of my comment was simply…”
      Yes but the point of the article is that they should have received service in English. You’ve obviously missed the point.

      ”AND I see no reason why the Bulgarian embassy shouldn't answer the telephone in Bulgarian....it IS Bulgarian territory, for goodness sake! “
      It is in a country of 300 million English speaking (in theory) persons and a handful of Bulgarians. I’d say that it is a pretty good bet that the person calling doesn’t understand Bulgarian.

    • Anonymous
      BG Rating:
      neutral
      #9 17, 01, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      The Bulgarian embassy in Washington is not Bulgarian territory rather a service center for Bulgarians (E.U citizens) & US citizens in case of travel information. Just like you mentioned in your post "if people can't be bothered to learn even the rudiments of the language of the country they live in then they are asking for problems."

      There are Bulgarians like myself that don't speak fluent Bulgarian since we lived here most of our lives and we need assistant in English

    • Anonymous
      JimJay Rating:
      neutral
      #8 16, 37, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      "Luckily" I speak all of the languages the BG service operates in - and a few more besides. The point of my comment was simply that if people can't be bothered to learn even the rudiments of the language of the country they live in then they are asking for problems.

      AND I see no reason why the Bulgarian embassy shouldn't answer the telephone in Bulgarian....it IS Bulgarian territory, for goodness sake!

    • Anonymous
      jed Rating:
      neutral
      #7 16, 13, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      Oh jimjay, some people never learn. Demanding we should learn the language? You obviously have such little command of Bulgarian that you couldn't understand what all those posters and leaflets were about. You know, those with the big "112" on them. Thought it was a dating service?

    • Anonymous
      andybay Rating:
      neutral
      #6 15, 53, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      JimJay this call was to 112,the European Emergency Number.Nothing to do with 999 or local Bulgarian Emergency services.

      If you call 112 in the U.K you will be forwarded to someone who speaks Bulgarian which is one of the 170 Languages offered by the U.K 112 EUROPEAN Emergency service.

      The 112 service in Bulgaria is oficially supposed to offer it's service in 4 languages Bulgarian,English, French and German.

      Do your research before you print stupid comments,this woman needed help and was let down by a European funded service [...]

      Read the full comment which every nation in the E.U pays for.Let's hope you don't need it one day ;)

    • Anonymous
      BG Rating:
      neutral
      #5 15, 46, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      To JimJay.. So if you are passing by Germany in your way to france and you needed assistant and you couldn't speak the language then you are Sh!t out of luck?

    • Anonymous
      JimJay Rating:
      neutral
      #4 15, 35, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      Yeah - it's absolutely scandalous!

      Why, only the other day I dialled 999 in the UK and can you believe that the operator spoke no Bulgarian? :(

      There are WAY too many of these stupid regulations - if you want to live in the UK/Bulgaria/Outer Mongolia or wherever, then learn to speak the language or hightail it back home, for Pete's sake!!

    • Anonymous
      BG Rating:
      neutral
      #3 15, 03, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      This is so embarrassing, but it doesn't end there. If you are in the United States and you dial the Bulgarian embassy, the person that answers the phone starts with "da" as if she is answering her own cellphone. and if you tried to speak in English, she will respond back at you in Bulgarian. So if you are American and want to find out any information in regard of traveling to Bulgaria, then i suggest you learn to speak Bulgarian first before calling the embassy here in Washington.

      I really would like to send a [...]

      Read the full comment formal complaint to someone about this. It really makes me mad.

    • Anonymous
      expat Rating:
      neutral
      #2 14, 02, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      unbelievable. I have experience hang ups by speaking English with Taxi companies, but at the emergency call 122 this is totally unacceptable.

      I would recommend the EU is finally suing BG for not proper implementation of this regulation. AND this lady should sue privately the government for omission of vital life support before an EU court ! she will win !! and BG has to pay again!

      if the official responsible people wont learn in advance it should be very, very painful. huge money fines !!!

      maybe she [...]

      Read the full comment could also sue the operator personally, would also have some chances for success.

      of course all before EU court, which is responsible anyway!

    • Anonymous
      angelo Rating:
      neutral
      #1 13, 43, Tue, Feb 02 2010

      yes,but somebody's daughter wants to work there,and the father have contacts with the chief...
      you know ....
      ONLY IN BULGARIA!!!

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