The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Monday announced plans to install 16 emergency telephones and 96 CCTV cameras on eight bridges that span the Han River by next year to prevent suicides.
If a potential suicide attempt is spotted on the system, the Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Management Department will issue messages dissuading the person from jumping from the bridge, and will immediately notify local fire stations, police stations, the Seoul Suicide Prevention Center, and bridge guard posts so that a rescue team can be quickly dispatched to the site.
The eight bridges were selected because they had the highest number of suicide attempts between January 2007 and July 2009. A total of 1,033 suicide attempts happened along the Han River during that period, an average of about one a day.
A fire department official said until now rescuers were dependent on calls from witnesses to be alerted to the numerous suicide attempts along the Han River, and the safety system should help prevent such attempts.