Blackouts won’t stop cops

2015-05-14 09:39
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PIETERMARITZBURG residents have nothing to worry about when contacting emergency services during load shedding.

This is the message from police and various emergency services when ­discussing the effects of load shedding in providing essential services to ­Pietermaritzburg residents.

According to police spokesperson ­Colonel Jay Naicker, all police stations in the province are “well equipped” and have generators that are used during load shedding.

The Witness checked with various ­police sources, who could not be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media, in all 13 police stations in the Pietermaritzburg cluster.

According to them, their stations have backup generators which power the building, preventing any switchboard or administration problems.

However, according to a source at the Pietermaritzburg cluster office, there have been “teething problems” in the past when it comes to maintaining these generators.

“All of our stations are well-equipped but it all depends on the station commander being on the ball in terms of maintaining the generators at all times,” the source said.

“There have been some teething problems when it comes to recording cases but this can be done manually.”

Pietermaritzburg cluster commander Major-General Lucas Ngobeni said he has not had any complaints from the public or from his station commanders about the performance of stations during load shedding.

Speaking to various emergency services like ER24, KZN EMS and Netcare 911, the service providers assured the public that all will remain as per normal during load shedding.

All three service providers are equipped with back-up generators and have not encountered any problems thus far.

According to ER24’s Russel Meiring, their call centres are available at all times and if secondary problems occur during load shedding, they have an off-site contact centre available as well.

KZN EMS spokesperson Robert McKenzie said their services are primarily mobile so they are self-sufficient in terms of responding to emergencies.

“We’ve always been coping without electricity in our ambulances as everything is battery operated and is charged on a regular basis,” McKenzie said.

The enquiries come after Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato requested a full briefing with police management on station functionality during load shedding in their province.

This request was made after a number of police stations reported that their phones are out of order during rolling blackouts, Plato said in a statement

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