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Kruger Emergency Call Centre

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Kruger Emergency Call Centre

Unread postby 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.
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Unread postby 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 postby gwendolen » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:47 pm

For people from overseas who want to put it in their cellphone the emergency call centre number is +2713 735 4325

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Unread postby 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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medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread postby agricola64 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:17 pm

We plan to visit KNP this July / August for 10 days .. we will be taking my parents in-law with us. While they are both in good health (or they would not be making this trip with us), they are also of an age where a sudden medical emergency can happen.

So my question is this - what to do if something bad should happen - besides shouting for help on the phone (to the phone number the park gives out)? Are there camps that do have a doctor in residence? Are ambulance helicopters available for that region? Generally speaking, what are the suggested procedures ..

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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread postby Hugh » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:05 pm

I think Skukuza is the only camp that has a resident Doctor. Not sure what happens in a real emergency .
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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread postby bambazonke » Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:22 pm

My eldest son always reserved his worst asthma attacks for Kruger.
The doctor is based at Skukuza, so all we did was use the camp to contact the manager, who would radio thru the emergency, issue a permit because you are on the road after hours, once son had to stay until following a.m. was not a problem.

Also on a Wilderness trail , the problem person managed to get bitten at night, so the ranger radioed
thru and took him to Skukuza, much to the relief of the rest of the camp! :)

in the case of a stroke, etc they may use medical help from the gate closest to the camp you are staying.
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Re: medical emergencies in Kruger

Unread postby 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 postby 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 postby 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 postby 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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Doctors/GPs KNP

Unread postby tazz » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:59 am

We are planning our first trip to KNP with our daughter (15 months old) and I was wondering if there were any Doctors stationed at the large camps? I have never taken notice of this before as we've had no need but thought I better have an idea this trip... just in case


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Re: Doctors/GPs KNP

Unread postby NJVermaak » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:03 am

Hi tazz,

Skukuza has a doctor, not sure about the other camps, here is a link to Skukuza's map indicating where the doctor is. I'm not sure if the other camps have this. ... kukuza.jpg

enjoy the trip.
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Re: Doctors/GPs KNP

Unread postby Elsa » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:06 am

Hi Tazz and a warm welcome to the forum! :clap:

The only permanent doctor is at Skukuza camp.

I see a few of the other big camps ask that any medically trained visitors/doctors etc inform them on check in case of medical emergencies arising.

Hoping you won't have need of a doctor and will have a wonderful trip! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Doctors/GPs KNP

Unread postby tazz » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:12 am

Thanks Elsa and NJ

Hope we don't need it either (crossing fingers). Can't wait for our trip :)

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