South Africa - The holiday season has arrived and emergency officials are working around-the-clock to ensure everyone’s safety while travelling the country’s roads and exploring their holiday destinations.
How close is South Africa to driving efficiency with its emergency services and getting the response time correct?
Earlier this year, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released its Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS), illustrating the South African Police Service’s emergency response call time across the country’s nine provinces.
According to the report, the Western Cape indicated the fastest police emergency response time when compared to other provinces. The Northern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, on the other hand, are the poorest performing provinces in the country; each indicated that it takes up to two hours before police respond to an emergency.
In case of an emergency:
• From a landline, dial 10111 for police service
• From a landline, dial 10177 for ambulance service
• From a cell phone, Dial 112 and a caller’s call will be re-directed to the emergency service required
• Provide the call centre operator with all the relevant details:
• Nature of emergency
• Details of the injury (if any)
• Exact location (including nearby landmarks)
• Caller’s personal details
• A response vehicle relevant to the emergency will be dispatched to the scene:
• Flying squad
• Fire and rescue
• Sea search and rescue
Pumzile Papu, spokesperson and head of consulting for RapidDeploy – an organisation committed to driving efficiency in the emergency services industry in the country and streamlining the way emergency officials are deployed to a scene, says while giant strides have been made, there’s more work to be done.
Papu said: “South Africa’s emergency response time is known to be poor, especially in certain parts of the country.
"There are lack of resources and the systems are dated, which makes the challenge even bigger. But with the right technology, emergency dispatch services can be effectively streamlined and response time reduced."
He explains that RapidDeploy uses advanced telematics that help to create a full electronic network, provide an emergency service with the right data and allows the emergency service to be in full control of their system and the emergency.
Papu says RapidDeploy is a leader in emergency vehicle dispatch, which includes bulk vehicle dispatching; allows for fully integrated emergency vehicle tracking; route optimization, which indicates which route will get officials to the emergency destination fastest, as well as intelligent call capture, which allows for the tracking and analysing of a vehicle in an emergency situation.
Papu added: “We are 100% committed to being the driving force behind efficiency in the emergency services industry, and to boost the turnaround time to which emergency services respond to an emergency."
This holiday season, Papu encourages holidaymakers, internationals and locals alike to be vigilant; download the relevant emergency apps onto a smartphone, to know emergency numbers, and exercise caution, especially while travelling on the country’s roads and exploring sights around the country. The key need-to-knows:
“Knowing exactly what to do and who to contact in an emergency is crucial, often people don’t know what numbers to call. Put them up on the fridge and add them to your mobile phone directory, they can help to save a life,” Papu says.