By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said innovations will be made in the National 911 program to improve the delivery of services during emergency and distressed situations.
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Eduardo M. Año said the P22.4-million allocation for the 911 program in the General Appropriations Act of 2018 is a good start to create necessary improvements from internal capacity enhancement to better response capability.
“As directed by President Duterte, we have so much planned for the National 911 program this 2018 and we commit to push through with all of these innovations as they were created and intended to benefit the Filipino people,” said Año.
The National 911 program was one of the campaign promises of President Duterte which he initially implemented when he was mayor of Davao City.
The DILG is looking at hiring additional personnel and conduct the required certification trainings on Emergency Telecommunications Course (ETC) to achieve the 8-10 minute response time upon receiving the call.
“Hiring qualified and competent professionals to serve as telecommunicators, information technology, planning and legal service support will ramp up 911’s quick response capability, thus, saving more lives,” Año added.
The DILG is also gearing toward attaining ladderized certification course on Emergency Medical Dispatch, Año said, which will be provided by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.
Institution of learning
If additional funds are allocated by the national government, Año plans to possibly establish the Emergency Dispatch Academy of the Philippines (EDAP), a learning institution that will serve as the education and training, research and protocol development of emergency telecommunicators, dispatchers and communications center managers.
“EDAP initiative is a dream that we would strive to fulfill as this learning institution will create efficient and capable telecommunicators and call dispatchers equipped with the proper training and knowledge needed for a successful emergency response scenario Año ,” noted.
Since the National 911 program adapts the international standards and emergency protocols prescribed by the IAED, acquired emergency response “well of knowledge” can be transferred to prospective students of EDAP.
He also added that EDAP will elicit the support of the private sector in the realization of the said endeavor together with the leadership of the Foundation for Crime Prevention.
Technology in emergency response
The DILG 911 program is also looking to tie up with one of the premiere universities in the country in developing an information ecosystems for emergency responders’ profiles and databases.
Año said this information ecosystems also include the hosting of said databases, development of big data analytics to uncover patterns of incidents, detect and prevent the occurrence of emergencies, crimes and similar incidents.
“These analytics can provide us and the authorities more informed strategies and decisions that will eventually lead to an improved and successful emergency response which in the end can save lives,” he added.
The DILG also requested the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for 55 new ambulances through then former DILG OIC Catalino. S. Cuy and DILG Assistant Secretary Nestor F. Quinsay Jr., which will be distributed to various fire stations in the National Capital Region and suburban local government units.