By Felix “Boy” Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY – The soft launching of the Province Emergency Hotline 9-1-1(nine-one-one) demonstrated the resolve and resiliency for quick response time during emergency and disaster where real-time response is critical in saving lives.
All became possible when it was allowed by DILG to use Code 9-1-1, the three-digit use by the national government for emergency response.
The hotline has thirty response units including the local government units of the province and its adjunct national agencies operating within their jurisdiction.
The main server is firstname.lastname@example.org interconnecting with the LGU’s disaster response offices.
The Bureau of Fire Protection operating within is linked to the system, also the PNP-PPO and city police station, including the Coast Guard.
To access, one must have a minimum of five peso load and simply dial# 911 which will be received by the operator at the main hub, and therein the nearest response team to the location identified by the caller will be a patch for their quick response. One must be in an area where it is not a dead spot for a call to be made.
Because of its infancy, it is not remote that there will be some glitches, but Governor Francis Escudero said that, in a short time, all systems will be running smoothly.
All response vehicles will be geo-tagged to locate one nearest to an emergency call. It was made clear that, except for ambulances that may exceed the speed limit of 80/kph. For responding vehicles exceeding the limit will be red-tagged in the GPS locator monitor at the 9-1-1 local call center.
The Governor also mentioned that the Province is working closely with private hospitals for the inclusion of their ambulances as part of the response vehicles which can be tapped during emergency calls.
To enhance understanding, a massive information drive will be undertaken by respective local governments aside from his request to the Provincial Board to enact an ordinance with possible penal provisions against prank callers.
Escudero is hoping that SORECO I & II will improvise a system of numbering their electric poles as a reference for callers needing hotline assistance. such coded numbers be included in the monthly statement of account of their member-consumers.
The chief of the Province disaster response office Engineer Raden Dimaano, in a separate talk, said that they have clustered the five servers of Sorsogon Citizen Emergency Hotline to handle calls, and have identified dead spot areas that hopefully will be given attention by telecommunication providers.
The nerve center is located at the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction office manned by trained information technology personnel.
Code 9-1-1 was the effort of AT & T in 1968 as the emergency code throughout the United States and using the Alabama Telephone Company as its server. On February 16, 1968, the first call was completed at Halleyville, Alabama by Senator Rankin Fite.
9-1-1 was chosen because it best fits the needs of all parties involved. It met public requirements, is brief, easily remembered and can be dialed quickly among other considerations. Code 9-1-1 gives the public fast and easy access to Public Safety answering Point (PSAP). [Bicol Today]