In Davao City, the most helpful numbers are 911.
However, they can be used for pranks and non-emergency calls too.
The surging number of prank calls to Davao Central 911, the city’s 24-hour helpline for emergencies and disasters, have raised concern among Central 911 call personnel. Of late, call takers have complained of a number of unintentional calls or non-emergency calls that are congesting up lines for real emergencies.
Davao Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon said these types of calls prevent real emergency calls getting thru 911 emergency lines and compromises the safety of people who are in real emergencies and need help.
Jaldon said majority of the calls going to Central 911 are non-emergency calls, which are mixture of caller asking for information or just inquiring utilities concerns which could have been addressed directly to the offices or firms concerned.
“Common non-emergency calls such as calling to ask information like “asa ang sunog?” “kinsa ang head sa isang agency?” “Ngano wala suga diri sa amo?” and others,” he said.
He also said that the agency often receives prank callers nga gabinuang lang reporting fake accidents and fire incidents.
“There are also nuisance calls such as dialing 911 and just listening or just saying irrelevant things to call takers, laughing, etc,” Jaldon told Edge Davao.
He said these are the challenges that the call takers in Davao 911 are encountering daily.
According to him, although, this is common to all emergency answering points in the world to receive these types of calls, Davao City 911 is looking to provide an avenue for callers only “needing information” by means of routing system.
Jaldon said this is also one of the areas that they want to improve like looking for a way to conduct voice profiling and determine if the calls are emergency or non-emergency. Because of this, Central 911 is now looking at coming up with a system where it can link up with other government agencies like the City Information Office (CIO) to provide information to the queries as well.
“Meaning once there is an emergency, a call taker will determine that a particular call is just an inquiry then it will be automatically be transferred or routed to CIO call takers. CIO will then answer and provide the information they need,” Jaldon explained.
Established in September 2002, the Davao City Central Communications and Emergency Response Center or the Central 911 is in the forefront of providing primary emergency response services which includes medical assistance, search and rescue, fire auxiliary and k-9 services for the residents of Davao City. Central 911 was a product of a collaborative undertaking between the Davao Light and Power Company and the City Government of Davao to aid in minimizing the increasing crime incidents in the City.
Davao Central 911 offers services of quality and efficient response services including medical assistance for emergencies, search and rescue operations, fire suppression, and augmentation through its own K-9 services.
Recently, Davao Central 911 has acquired two brand-new L39 Rosenbauer ladder trucks to boost its response to an emergency, especially in buildings.
The Roseanbauer ladder trucks will be used to rescue people trapped inside buildings such as during fire incidents. The ladder trucks are equipped to reach up to the 16th floor of a building.
Each ladder truck can also carry up to four people in case of aerial rescue operations.
Jaldon said the purchase of the ladder truck was decided after the huge fire razed NCCC Mall Davao in December 2017.
At the moment, Jaldon believes there is a need to upgrade the equipment of central 911 due to the fast development of the city.