IMPORTANT EMERGENCY SERVICES NUMBERS FOR EVERY SOUTH AFRICAN HOUSEHOLD
You never think about emergency services numbers until you need them. And when you do, the last thing you want is to have to frantically scramble around to find them! To help make sure you are prepared, we have put together a list of the most important numbers you should have on hand as well as a few tips on what to do in case of an emergency.
IMPORTANT EMERGENCY SERVICES NUMBERS:
- MAPONYA 911 24 HOUR AMBULANCE SERVICE – DIAL 0861 960 960:
This number should be used in case of a medical emergency and can be used in conjunction with both the fire and police departments, depending on whether there are casualties. Ambulance services are designed to transport you quickly and safely to the nearest medical facility and form a vital link between the time of the injury and receiving treatment from a medical practitioner.
- NATIONWIDE EMERGENCY RESPONSE – DIAL 10111:
This number can be called from anywhere in South Africa. The call will be answered by a call centre operator who will take down all necessary details and assign the call to a Flying Squad patrol vehicle or the local police station.
- CELL PHONES – DIAL 112:
You can dial 112 from any cell phone in South Africa. This number connects you to a central call centre where they will direct you to the closest emergency service to your location. The first point of contact will be an automated menu. Although this may seem frustrating, it is a very important step as this allows the service to accurately direct your call to the most applicable emergency service and also filters out abuse of the system.
WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY:
- Have an Emergency Kit Ready
Every household should have a basic first aid kit on hand in case of emergencies. Some items to include in the kit are latex gloves; bandages; antibiotic cream; burn cream; scissors and eye wash solution.
- Stay Calm
You will not be of help to anyone if you are panicking. As hard as it is, try to remain calm so that you can relate the details of your emergency to the relevant emergency services agency. These details include:
- The nature of the emergency;
- The exact location of the emergency, including nearby landmarks so that you can easily direct help to your location; and
- Details of any injuries
- Follow Instructions
- If the emergency operator gives you instructions try to remember them as clearly as possible and carry them out exactly as instructed. Don’t move somebody who has been injured unless they are in immediate danger; just try to keep them warm and as comfortable as possible. If there is somebody else with you, send him or her to meet the ambulance.
- Do not Attempt to Drive an Injured Person Yourself
- You should never attempt to drive an injured person to the hospital yourself. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are trained professionals, equipped to assess the severity of an injury and begin administering emergency care. Also, driving through traffic with a seriously injured person in your car could be very distracting and moving some patients may make their condition worse.
Following these simple instructions and making sure you are able to call for help quickly could mean the difference between life and death for a loved one. So save these numbers to your phone; print a copy for display in a prominent position in your house and remember, if in doubt, call for help.