Reporting Emergencies in Tshwane

The Tshwane Emergency Services would like to bring the following important information to the attention of the community in Tshwane as well as all visitors to Tshwane:

Reporting emergency calls

Stay calm in any emergency.

Make sure you report an emergency as soon as possible on 10177 or (012) 310 6300/6400.

All details of the emergency must be correct, for example, the number of patients, what is burning, how many vehicles are involved and whether or not the patients are still breathing.

You will be asked to give the exact address and nearest cross streets to the incident, as well as the suburb.

Make sure you give the correct number where the control centre can phone you back to confirm the call or to get more information if needed.

Never make any prank calls to the Emergency Services.

Performance of road users who are first on an accident scene

Make sure that when you stop at an accident scene your car is safely parked with the hazard lights on to avoid any further accidents or obstructions to other road users. Try to stop in front of the accident scene if possible.

When arriving at an accident scene call the Emergency Services immediately on 10177 or (012) 310 6300/6400.

Never pull or move patients unless their lives are in danger, eg the car is on fire or there are obstacles that might fall on them and cause further injuries or death.

Assess if breathing is present or not.

Keep patients calm by talking to them and inform them that help is on the way.

If you see any severe bleeding try and stop or minimise it by applying direct pressure on the wound, if it is possible to do this without exposing yourself to contagious diseases.

If the patient’s airway is constricted, open the airway by tilting the patient’s head backwards if possible.

On arrival of the Emergency Services at the scene, inform the officer in charge of what actions you took to assist the patient. You will be asked to stand behind the barrier tape so that the Emergency Services can carry on with the necessary actions.

The public will always be asked to stand behind the barrier tape to make the working procedure of the Emergency Services easier.

If you are an eye witness make sure to tell the SAPS about what you observed.

Never remove or destroy any evidence that might help the SAPS and other officials.  Remember that the Emergency Services personnel are highly trained in their duties. If they need any help from you as a bystander you will be asked to assist.

Always approach any hazardous scene with great caution.

Disabled persons’ evacuation guidelines

In view of consciousness in emergency planning by executives and recently passed legislation enacted in the fire brigade services by-laws, where designated buildings must have evacuation plans set up, the question arises – what about physically-challenged persons?

Some disabled persons may require assistance during the emergency evacuation of a building. What follows is a description of a personal evacuation plan and how physically-challenged persons should respond during an evacuation drill or emergency evacuation.

1.         Do you need assistance

The first step is determining whether you would need assistance during the evacuation of a building. The elevators will not be available, so only the stairs may be used as a means of egress. If you answer “Yes” to one of the questions below, you should consider contacting the person responsible for the building’s emergency plan and request evacuation assistance.

(a)         Do you have a physical condition which would prevent you from walking down stairs?

(b)        Are you a person who is visually impaired?

(c)        Are you a person with a speech or hearing impairment?

2.         Personal evacuation plan

The next step is seeking volunteers who will provide assistance during an evacuation. A minimum of two persons should be identified. The emergency plan manager (EPM) who is responsible for the building’s emergency plan should then schedule a time to discuss the features of the personal evacuation plan with the disabled person and the volunteers. In addition to this plan, the security staff should be provided with information so that they are aware of the disabled person’s possible whereabouts each day. This information should be contained on an evacuation assistance chart that should be held at the security desk.

3.         Visitors

Disabled persons who are visitors to the building will also require evacuation assistance. When you are planning a special event in which outside visitors will be in attendance, you should ask whether anyone will require assistance during an emergency evacuation of the building. If they answer “Yes”, ask what type of assistance they require. After you have this information, contact the EPM. The EPM should incorporate their needs into a personal evacuation plan, and review the plan with the said individual, the host of the event and all security staff on duty. Please notify the EPM of this information in advance, and remember to include the following details:

(i)         The date and time the event will be held

(ii)        The room(s) reserved

(iii)       Any other pertinent information

4.         Response during an evacuation drill

During an evacuation drill, disabled persons should not evacuate the floor. Instead, they should respond in the following manner:

  • One of the assigned volunteers must notify the EPM by means of the building’s emergency communication system.
  • The EPM must note the floor and stair location where the disabled person would be relocated if it were an actual emergency.
  • The volunteer should then show the disabled person the door which leads to this location.
  • There is no need to enter the stair or attempt to evacuate the person during a drill.
  • Entering the stairs to go to the safe rescue area or to evacuate the floor should only be undertaken when the EPM tells you to evacuate the building during a non-drill situation.
  • Finally, the volunteers and the disabled person should use the remainder of the drill time to review the personal evacuation plan (desk topping as if actual).

5.         Response during an emergency evacuation

There are two options which are available to disabled persons upon being notified of an emergency evacuation, namely –

(a)        relocating to a safe rescue area until the arrival of Fire Brigade Services personnel to assist with their evacuation, or assistance from others if danger is near; and

(b)        evacuating a disabled person to the opposite sidewalk level.

 

5.1       Relocation to a safe rescue area

When instructed by the EPM to begin an evacuation of the buildings, a volunteer must notify the EPM, by means of the building’s emergency communication system, of the safe rescue area where the disabled person will be relocated to. Remember to note the floor and stair location. The EPM must be notified because during an actual emergency he or she should notify the Fire Brigade Services personnel upon their arrival at the building. Upon being provided this information, Fire Brigade Services personnel will respond to the location to assist with the evacuation.

5.2       Immediate danger: Evacuation with assistance from others

If the danger is near, the evacuation volunteers should request help from other floor occupants to assist with evacuating a disabled person to the opposite sidewalk level. To prevent injury to others, allow those who do not require assistance to exit before evacuating the disabled person.

Although volunteers have been identified in advance to provide assistance to a disabled person, they may also need additional assistance with this effort. If you are asked to assist, please respond as requested.

6.         Evacuation of visually or hearing-impaired persons

Visually and hearing-impaired persons also have special needs which must be considered during an emergency evacuation.

6.1       Visual

The following special considerations apply to persons who have visual impairments:

(a)        Do not grasp a person’s arm without first asking if they would like assistance. This act will disorient a visually-impaired person. If they welcome your assistance, extend your arm to them (they will grasp it). Providing direction is very important if there is a crowd or obstruction in the area.

(b)        When you are walking, give a verbal description about the evacuation route, using estimated distances and directional terms. For example, note an upcoming change in direction (eg there is a right turn about three steps ahead) or other important information (eg move to the left, the wall juts out about five steps ahead).

6.2       Hearing

The following special considerations apply to persons who have a hearing impairment:

(a)        Face the person when you speak to them. Speak clearly and tersely while you describe the situation.

(b)        To attract their attention, touch them or use eye contact.

 

(c)        Gestures are helpful, but be prepared to write down your comments if the person does not seem to understand what you are saying.

Offer visual instructions (eg pointing toward exits or exit signs) in guiding the person to the safest exit.

Persons who wish to get more information on emergency planning are welcome to contact the Disaster Management Services Division of the Emergency Services Department on (012) 358 2255.

Safety at home

  • Electrical wires must be installed by a qualified electrician. No electrical wires may run under carpets.
  • Unplug electrical appliances if they are going to be left unattended for a long period.
  • Switch off geysers and stoves at the main switch if you are going to be away from home for a long period.
  • During cold weather, use heaters with great caution and unplug them before you go to sleep or leave the area where they are used.
  • Heaters should not be used to dry clothes and must be positioned away from any flammable material when switched on.
  • If a power failure occurs in your area, turn off all appliances.
  • Make sure that the pipes and connections of gas appliances are in good working order before you ignite the appliance.
  • Gas cylinders must be kept in a well-ventilated area, preferably separate and on their own. Only use SABS approved gas cylinders. Do not use cylinders that are damaged.
  • Fireplaces should be used with great caution and under adult supervision only. Always make sure that the fire is put out before you go to sleep.
  • Children must use candles under adult supervision only.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Flammable liquids must be stored in a cool, ventilated area to avoid explosions.
  • Cover unattended swimming pools with a safety net in order to prevent drowning.
  • Avoid unnecessary waste or compost heaps if your home will be left unattended for a long period.
  • Owners of smallholdings must have firebreaks around their property and large open areas in order to minimise the risk of fires spreading if they occur.
  • Extinguish any open fire before you leave an area.
  • Report grass fires immediately. No person is allowed to set fire to grass. Remember, arson is a criminal offence.
  • Make sure that emergency numbers are easily accessible in case of any emergency.
  • It is a good idea for households to practice escape drills so that everyone is well-prepared in case of emergencies.
  • Ensure that the decorations that dangle from the roof or ceiling are 500 mm or further away from the ceiling, electrical power point or sprinkler head.
  • Children should not play with fireworks.
  • Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have labels with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabelled).
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.
  • Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of an accident.
  • Steer clear of others.
  • Don’t have fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting.
  • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep them away from flammable substances.
  • Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers). Never relight a dud.
  • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

If one is injured by fireworks, they should immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, do not touch or rub your eye.

Please be aware that fire fighters and emergency medical personnel are highly trained professionals with special skills and knowledge and that they use specialised equipment to carry out their work.

Make sure that you educate your children on all possible dangers and the numbers to phone when an emergency occurs.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

10177

012 310 6300

012 310 6400

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About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

You will always find me standing on the side of the underdog OR HERE.