News : 911: Serving Directly Emergency Needs of People
Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines, Sept 23, 2016 -- "Daghan mga panghitabo sa atong syudad, makabalo lang ta kung na’y panghitabo kung na’y manawag nato."
"There are a lot of happenings in the city and we will only know about this if we’ll receive a call)," Cagayan de Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) Chief Ret. Col. Mario Verner Monsanto said as he explained why the city government has come up with the newest emergency response system.
Inspired from Davao City’s 911 Call Center, the Oro Computer-Aided Emergency Response Center (OCA-ERC) aims to provide access to people in order to obtain immediate emergency assistance.
Monsanto emphasized that it is normal for people to extend help especially during emergencies yet most of them do not have the capability to do so. Hence, the government has come up with something where people can easily call and attain assistance.
At present, the city government sends out various teams to respond to certain incidents such as the police for law enforcement, ambulance or health professionals for medical emergencies, resources of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) during fires and rescue team for other incidents.
Monsanto however stressed that the current setup is not enough to ensure the safety and welfare of the people since there are incidents where two or more response teams are needed.
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With the OCA-ERC, all of the needed response teams or offices will be integrated and will be sent to the incident location. "It’s a complete system," Monsanto said.
He cited that for incidents like car crash, sending the police is not enough. Thus, with the OCA-ERC, the caller will be asked on the situation and from there, the staff will determine if they will need to send out a combination of investigators, ambulance or rescue team.
Just like the 911 Call Center, emergency calls of the residents are being received and logged in computers. Monsanto said that they are going to use advanced, high-technology units that will no longer require the call takers to use a telephone handset. Doing so will speed up the receiving of calls and the information provided can be encoded immediately.
They are also planning to situate the OCA-ERC at the City Hall’s roof deck with solar panels to make sure that they will be able to receive calls even if there is power interruption.
Cases ranging from police, medical, rescue and fire emergencies will be accommodated in the OCA-ERC.
Since the very purpose of the response center is to obtain as much information from the caller, they are expected to give proper and appropriate response.
Among the basic information that the call takers would ask include the nature of the emergency, name of the caller, location of the emergency and the caller’s contact number.
Once the needed information has been gathered, the OCA-ERC staff will process the call and pinpoint the responsible team/s that will provide the emergency assistance. Monsanto added that they will also communicate with the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) after the location has been determined to help the response team get through the traffic easily.
"As much as possible, naa ta within 10 minutes (As much as possible, we will be in the incident location within 10 minutes)," the CDRRMO chief said. He further explained that it is the ideal time to response in an emergency because something irreversible can happen to the persons involved if they are not attended immediately.
Monsanto also shared that once they have everything in place, they will determine the areas that could not be reached in 10 minutes time so they can establish satellites.
The vehicles of the dispatched teams will be equipped with communication gadgets, basic life support and lifesaving equipment, rescue tools and resources from the BFP.
The CDRRMO targets to have the OCA-ERC operational before the year ends. They will also ask the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) if the city can use the hotline number 911 so during emergency people will only need to remember the three-digit number as what President Rodrigo Duterte has proposed to be used nationwide.
As for the prank calls, Monsanto stressed that after receiving three times of prank calls, the number of such caller will be blocked. When this happens, the prank caller will never be able to reach the hotline when he or she will have a real emergency.
"The local government of Cagayan de Oro is trying its best to serve the people. Kanang good governance man gud nato could be [manifested] in the form of serving directly the emergency needs of the people (The good governance that we have could actually be [manifested] in the form of serving directly the emergency needs of the people). So if we do that, we hope everybody would understand and cooperate with us," Monsanto said.
He also urged the residents of the city that "while the government is thinking the best for them, they should also think for themselves and help the government."(
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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