Monday, November 2, 2009

Emergency 911

I recently had an experience whereby I saw a Taxi defy the laws of physics (for a brief moment) as it took flight shortly after passing me on the freeway. The accident appeared to be mechanical failure compounded by speed. (See next weeks article)

Due to the number of injuries, the fact the I had my family on board and the poor location of the accident (from a safety perspective) I decided to contact the emergency services and not get personally involved. (A very tough decision to make)

So dialing 112 from my cellular phone I experienced 3 dropped calls while listening to an automotive voice telling me that it was an offence to report an emergency if there wasn't one. On the fourth try I got through to an operator when my call got dropped again. I then asked my wife to call them while I called the toll road operations office.

Meanwhile my wife got through on the 112 number got through to an operator, told them the details and then without letting her know what was happening she was transferred to someone else who upon hearing what the call was about started a diatribe about how this is the wrong number and we should dial 112.

I on the other hand was having a huge success as my call was answered by a person, who upon hearing my story asked several intelligent questions, thanked me for the call and said he would get on to it.

I then asked my wife to call ER24 on 084 124 where she also encountered first class professional service and was also left feeling that the incident would be resolved asap.

The bottom line is that the 112 number is about as efficient as phoning 10111 as you can't get through and when you do its normally to somebody ill equipped, and without sufficient training to deal with the problem.

The moral of the story. When chaos erupts - phone everybody, but start with the professionals first.

My compliments to the Toll operators and ER24 and thier first class personnel for thier professional service.

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