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Kruger Emergency Call Centre

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Kruger Emergency Call Centre

Unread post by Jakkalsbessie » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:41 pm

From KPT Vol 2 Issue 21

The Kruger Emergency Call Centre has now been up and running for just over a year. It receives around five calls a day, ranging from traffic accidents to guests who have left their belongings behind in camp to injured animals.

Call volumes increase in all the holiday periods, and the majority of the calls come from the southern sections of the park. Most calls are received in the early morning and early afternoon.
The call centre is headed up by Joseph Shai, who has been working in Kruger for almost 15 years. Joseph began as a security guard, but through continuing education and hard work is now an officer in the control room centre.

He mans the emergency call centre along with Ruel Nkuna, Julius Baloyi and Wilson Mathavini.
The call centre staff work two 12-hour shifts from six to six each day, and need to know who is the right person to contact for the various problems encountered in their day's work.
Diplomacy is also an important factor in the job, as on occasion callers are hysterical or extremely agitated.
Joseph says that the majority of the calls that they receive are from South African nationals, but that international guests do also make use of the line.

Many of the calls relate to people speeding in the park, and the call centre liaises daily with Kruger's traffic police to ensure that they always know where the officers are deployed.
This helps speed up response times to calls.

Members of the public also report people getting out of their vehicles and playing music too loud to the call centre. At night, if a complaint about people disturbing the peace is made, the call centre will contact the camp security guard who will go and warn the noisemakers or fine them as necessary.
Calls for road traffic accidents come in about once a month, and Joseph not only helps deploy the park's medical personnel if necessary, but helps coordinate rescue efforts with outside medical facilities like Netcare.

The call centre is also used by Kruger staff, who sometimes call in breakdowns or sick members of staff. The call centre is not only all about human emergencies, but receives calls when people find animals injured by careless motorists and when tourists observe veld fires.
One visitor to the park encountered a lion outside of the park fence, and Joseph was able to dispatch the section ranger to ensure the lion's well-being.
Some of the calls highlight unflattering aspects of human nature“ one couple phoned the call centre looking for their young children, aged around seven or eight.

Investigation revealed that the children had been left alone for over two hours in the day visitor's centre, until finally one of the security staff took them to the office to try and locate the children's parents.
Joseph enjoys the challenge of linking up a caller with a problem to the correct person to solve the problem. He says, I like to assist people.

Kruger Emergency Call line 0137350197 or 0768019679
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Unread post by LittleLeopard » Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:30 pm

Thanks for posting this very informative article, JB! I think such an emergency number is of great value to visitors in the Park. I also think the four guys who man the Call Centre, do a sterling job. I can just imagine how hysterical some people must be when they call. I certainly remember how hysterical I was when I had to report an impala that was run over. :cry: It took me quite a while to reach the appropriate person to report this to.

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Unread post by Jazil » Tue Feb 21, 2006 4:03 pm

Its wonderful to know and have an emergency number you can call. However, if there is an emergency in an area where there is no cell phone coverage, then what use is that number? I noticed when I was there in November, that there were lots of areas with no coverage, and I know this subject has been covered in other threads, and I still beleive that cell phones should only be used in the park in cases of emergency.
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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread post by DuQues » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:22 pm

Kruger itself doesn't have much in terms of medical facilities. That however isn't a problem.
As you can probably imagine accidents happen with animals, stupid errors or just medical problems, like anywhere in the world.
Just call the emergency number (that may be the trickiest actually) and if need be the helicopter will see some extra work. There is even an ultralight, which may not be handy, but can be used to transport a person to a hospital.

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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread post by agricola64 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:38 pm

Its good to know that helicopter or light aircraft will be available ...

whats the problem with the emergency number - is mobile reception / network access that spotty in the KNP?

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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:10 pm

cell phone (mobile phone) reception is confined to the main camps only.
You sometimes get "pockets" of reception in between, but those cannot be relied upon.
I think the attendants at the picnic sites have radios to contact the nearest camp, if they have an emergency.

As far as I know, the only doctor in KNP is based at Skukuza camp.
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Re: Kruger Emergency Call Centre

Unread post by Potolozi » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:34 pm

Thank you to the call centre staff. It is re-assuring to know there is a team to take action when when necessary.

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Calling the emergency number works; let us use it!

Unread post by DinkyBird » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:09 pm

I had reason to call the emergency number yesterday morning. We were driving from Skukuza to Phabeni Gate. Half way a domestic dog was running towards us in the middle of the road. She ran past us and on towards Skukuza.

We noted our kms and as soon as I had signal, not long after, I dialed the number on the Conditions of Entry document that my permit is attached to. The phone rang a bit, and an efficient lady took all details. She promised to give me feedback. A short while later the lady called back for more detail. She called back again to give follow up that she had escalated the report and someone would go and look for the dog.

Not long after that, the ranger called me for more detail. He was about 4 km from where we had seen the dog and was on the lookout for it.

First hand proof that:
1. Calling the emergency number is the best action to take. Do not delay reporting by going first to social media, or second hand parties/groups that say they will/do the reports.

2. Our report was taken very seriously. The system works, I had first hand experience that it does.
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Re: Calling the emergency number works; let us use it!

Unread post by arks » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:05 pm

Very good to know, DB :thumbs_up: I do hope that they are able to find and remove that dog! I'd be interested to hear any further feedback that you get.
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Re: Calling the emergency number works; let us use it!

Unread post by Madalla » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:19 pm

I hope they found the dog in time.

If not that dog was sure to be on the menu of some lucky lion/tiger/hyena/wild dog soon after dark.

I am also glad that the emergency number works.
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