Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte has lauded the workforce of the Davao City Central 911 for their unwavering devotion and dedication in providing a free emergency response system, hospital emergency care, rescue service, and fire suppression service to Dabawenyos for 19 years.
“We are very grateful for all of you for your unwavering devotion and commitment to serve the city, especially now that we are currently facing the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Sara said in a video message for the 19th anniversary of Central 911 – a centralized and integrated system that links government’s resources to the emergency needs of the constituents of Davao City.
She said the city takes pride as the first city to establish this system in the Asian region and recognizes, and honors the Central 911 team for continuously carrying out its mandate and mission to provide quality and efficient emergency response services to Dabawenyos.
The mayor wishes that the incredible milestone of Central 911 will inspire its employees to be more resolute as they continue serving the people of Davao City with courage compassion and determination in the years to come.
The Chief of Central 911, Emmanuel Jaldon said that Central 911 has a lot to thank for its many transformations for the past 19 years to become a more “technically advanced and more effective emergency response system that provides free hospital emergency care rescue service and fire suppression service for free”.
“All these achievements and milestones would not have been possible without the continuous support of the City Government of Davao, supporting agencies, Central 911 personnel, and the people whom we serve. Even in the face of a pandemic, Davao City Central 911, looks forward to further improve for quality services in the years to come” Jaldon said.
Davao City Central 911 takes pride as the first of its kind in Asia and third in the world after the United States and Canada, and all services of Central 911 are completely free of charge.
Davao City Administrator Zuleika Lopez also lauded Central 911, for its efforts in making the city at the forefront of the quick and efficient emergency government response services.
Amid the evolving pandemic, the men and women of Central 911 continue to push forward and undaunted in extending emergency response.
Christian Arsua, a fire medic, said, “Now nga naay COVID-19 mas challenging kay during our fire call wala kabalo kinsa ang mga tao sa palibot, and we have to serve maski ingon ana ka delikado (In this time of the pandemic, it became more challenging because during our fire call we do not know about these people around us, and we have to serve even if it is risky).”
To extend help during calls, the firefighters ensure to wear personal protective equipment and face masks at all times.
Emily Fernandez, who is a Central 911 call taker, said that in this COVID-19 time they are dealing with the emotional stress of the callers and it is always a challenge to handle helpless, hopeless callers with anxiety attacks.
“As first responder tagos ba ilahang ginabati, so through phone at least mahatagan namo sila og tabang, ma-comfort sila tungod sa amoa (As the first responder, we can feel how they feel, so at least through phone we can give them assistance and they were given comfort through us),” Fernandez said.
Central 911 all these years has touched the lives of many and inspired men and women to help others as well.
Beverly Jean Gutierrez, who is also a Central 911 call taker, said she entered the service as a 911 call taker because of the first-hand experience of fast emergency response that saved her family member.
“I am already 15 years in service. Nag-apply ko sa 911 because one time in 2006 nagtawag ko sa 911 nangayo ko og medical assistance sa akong pamangkin nga nasudlan og pellet ang ilong, na-amaze ko kung unsa sila mohatag og first aid instruction ug unsa kapaspas ang ilang assistance so na challenge ko na I really want to be a part of this office (I am already 15 years in the office. I applied here in 911 because one time in 2006 I called 911 asking for medical assistance because my nephew needs it. I was amazed at how they gave first aid instruction and how they gave fast assistance, so I was challenged to be part of this office),” Gutierrez said.
Established on September 27, 2002, the Central Communications and Emergency Response Center now called Davao City Central 911 is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced resource equipment and tools, which are manned by highly-trained and competent personnel from units that serve various emergency needs and concerns. Central 911 is composed of the following operational units: Emergency Calls Answering Point and Dispatch (ECAP-D), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Fire Auxiliary Services (FAS), and K-9 Unit. CIO