What is emergency call etiquette?

In most cases people respond in different ways when they are in emergency situations such as car accident, home intrusion, or your loved one has suffered a stroke or heart attack.

It’s obvious that you’ll be anxious, scared and a little frazzled as there’s lots of adrenaline pumping through your veins.

Cape Talk host Pippa Hudson spoke to the director for Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services, Dr Shaheem de Vries, about emergency call etiquette.

De Vries says their 10177 call centre have 20 call takers during peak hours.

We need people who would be able to communicate clearly through the telephone, which was not part of our staff normal training, so we then started canvasing through the call centre industry looking for agents that were experienced enough to deal with the calls.

Dr Shaheem de Vries - Emergency services

Having heard the chilling Van Breda call, many of Cape Talk listeners have voiced concern about the quality of the response, and whether they can trust in the service going forward.

Read: Van Breda 'emotionally triggered' by emergency call scrutinised in court

Also read: Expert troubled by 107 call between emergency operator and van Breda

Listen more here:


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