Congratulations to Fire Chief Gentle and his able Officers for their swift response and good management of the situation that fateful night in Turkeyen. That night brought reality into play. One matter of grave public concern, I note below.
911, 912 and 913 are numbers listed in Guyana as emergency numbers. Police, Fire, Medical. Invariably we call 911 as first order of business – only to have the phones ring out. I myself called 911 numerous times during the fire incident in Turkeyen: the 911 CALLS WERE UNANSWERED.
First, I urge the authorities to consider merging emergency services. 911 must be the single point that Guyanese can dial in the case of any emergency. Combine the resources that should be manning 911, 912 and 913 and get calls redirected from within. The benefits of doing this are obvious. I doubt that any calls to 912 and 913 would not at the same time require the attention of the police. So merge the resources and, literally, get your act together. And, of course, you will get a central data point and log for all incidents.
Second, why are the emergency numbers ringing out? Is anyone assigned to answer? If someone was assigned and choose not to answer, what penalties are imposed for the consequential loss of lives or property as a result of police inaction?
Mr. Commissioner, Mr Minister, you constantly call on the residents to be more vigilant and helpful. Some of us are doing out part – it is time you do yours. Get the little things right and the bigger things will be taken care of.