IN THE event of an emergency and when contact lines are down, residents can dial 112 from their cellphone and still get the assistance required.
This is according to Robert McKenzie, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesperson, who was responding to reports that Telkom lines to Durban’s city emergency numbers – 0313610000 and 10111 – were down.
Social media was a flurry of activity yesterday when messages circulated claiming that the numbers were not in use.
A message that circulated via WhatsApp gave two alternative contact numbers for emergencies and a third for metro fire-related calls.
“The resident will give information about the emergency, including their name and area that they live in. The call centre agent will then refer the call to the necessary emergency unit. The caller will not even know the difference,” he said.
McKenzie said their emergency call centres across the province dealt with thousands of calls on a daily basis.
“Some calls are for directions to nearby clinics or residents wanting to find out if their condition requires medical intervention. We also deal with our fair share of hoax calls,” he said.
“Information was shared and different numbers were given out so there was a back-up plan. I have found that sometimes when you dial 0313610000, the call gets cut before it is even connected. So an alternative definitely helped. Residents were also advised of the problem,” said Burke.