Call centre operators at the Gauteng Emergency Communication Centre recorded a total of 1 914 calls during the 24-hour period between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for health and wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, who has expressed satisfaction with how the Gauteng Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responded to emergencies during the festive period.
Nkomo-Ralehoko joined EMS personnel on the ground on New Year’s Eve, as they responded to emergency calls, as part of the safer festive season campaign.
She said the work done by EMS personnel, also known as the Green Angels, during this period demonstrated that the resources that the Gauteng Department of Health has investment both in personnel and equipment overtime is being put to good use.
In a statement, the Gauteng Department of Health says the operation kicked off at EMS Communication Centre in Midrand where Nkomo-Ralehoko joined the dedicated team of call centre operators to respond to incoming emergency calls to ensure prompt and efficient responses to save the lives of those in distress.
It adds that the 1 914 calls were received during the critical period between 6:00AM on Sunday, 31 December 2023; and 6:00AM on 1 January 2024.
The department explains that these calls included various incidents such as accidents, medical emergencies, suicides, trauma cases, and others.
Breakdown of calls
Accidents (motor vehicle, motor bike, pedestrians etc): 102 calls
Medical emergencies (maternity, asthma attack, epilepsy, heart attack, collapse etc): 898 calls
Suicide-related (poisoning, hanging, overdose etc): 42 calls
Trauma cases (assault, gunshot, burns, etc): 468 calls
“Comparing this data to the previous year, we have observed a minimal decline in call volumes,” says the department.
It notes that around the same period in 2022/23, the Emergency Communication Centre recorded 1 929 calls (105 accidents, 862 medical, 53 suicide/attempts and 482 trauma cases).
“The statistics of emergency cases attended to between 15 December to 1 January in 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 cycles shows that most of the calls were medical related, followed by trauma cases, accidents and suicide-related calls,” it adds.
The department points out that there has been a decline in medical-related cases from 18 121 to 16 876.
Trauma-related cases have increased from 5 795 to 6 000, it says, adding that there is also a slightly positive decline in suicide-related cases from 771 to 702.
It states that there is a slight increase in accident-related cases from 1 676 to 1 682.
“The Gauteng Emergency Medical Services remains committed to its mission of saving lives and providing quality emergency medical care to the people of Gauteng,” it says.
“I want to commend our dedicated healthcare workers across the Gauteng health system who have been working tirelessly during this busy period. Their dedication and professionalism is commendable”, said Nkomo-Ralehoko.
In addition, the MEC further expressed appreciation to the residents of Gauteng and those visiting the province for their continued cooperation and patience.
She pleaded with them to make use of primary health facilities and only call the Emergency Communication Centre for actual medical and trauma emergencies as this will greatly improve responses to those in distress.
“The statistics could be improved upon drastically if people were to act more responsibly and with consideration of others,” stated Nkomo-Ralehoko.