Ready and ringing

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Cape Town - Cape Town’s emergency call centres and selected police stations have aced a test by the Cape Argus to determine whether operators were at their posts and ready to assist in an emergency.

A Cape Argus reader recently expressed concern about the fact that some emergency numbers that she dialled on a Sunday were not answered promptly.

The Cape Argus called 10 different numbers on Sunday and counted the number of rings in each case. In most cases the call was answered promptly and the operator immediately asked what the emergency was.

The only number that was called more than once was for Red Cross poisons information, which was answered on the third call.

The results were:

* 107 - Made the call at 11.58 am and it was answered after six rings. The operator asked what the emergency was and advised that the number could be called for a number of emergencies in the city.

* 10111 - The call was made at 12.05pm. The call was answered after two rings.

* Cape Town Central police station - Called the number at 12.36pm and it was answered after two rings.

* Manenberg police station - Made the call at 12.45pm and it was answered after two rings.

* Table View police station - The call was made at 12.46pm and it answered on the second ring.

* Harare police station - Called the station at 12.49pm. The call was answered after three rings.

* Gugulethu police station - The call was made at 12.54pm and answered after two rings.

* Red Cross Children’s Hospital poison information - The first call was made at 1.24pm, but after 20 rings it had not been answered. A second call was made an hour later with the same result. The third call was made a few minutes later and answered after the 10th ring. The person who answered said that a resuscitation had to be done earlier.

* Mountain Rescue - The call was made at 1.33pm and answered after three rings. The operator explained that the number could be called in the event of major incidents, including drowning.

* Sea Rescue - The call was made at 1.40pm and answered on the third ring.

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Cape Argus

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