Emergency dial now 911

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Reverend Utufua Naseri, Minister of M.C.I.T. Afamasaga Rico Tupai and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

Reverend Utufua Naseri, Minister of M.C.I.T. Afamasaga Rico Tupai and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi. (Photo: Vatapuia Maiava)

Remember this number. 911.

It is the new emergency dial for all of Samoa launched by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi at Tuanaimato yesterday afternoon.

The cutting of the ribbon was conducted by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i.

Tuilaepa urged the operators of the call center to ensure all lines are available.

 “This number is being used by countries all over the world,” he said.

“The main purpose of this change to 911 among other things is to eliminate confusion regarding what appropriate number to call for any particular emergency. 

“It is also to expedite the response by the emergency services save lives.”

The Prime Minister also advised employees of F.E.S.A. especially operators against misusing the phone lines.

 “There is one problem faced by us Samoans, it’s a sickness called ‘gossiping’ using phones,” he said.

“This problem is faced by many young people, especially the youths.

Minister of Communication and Information Technology Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i.
Minister of Communication and Information Technology Afamasaga Rico Tupa’i.
Inside the Call Center operation room.
Inside the Call Center operation room.

Tuilaepa said there are times when callers cannot get through to the emergency line because they engaged.

“The emergency lines are usually busy with calls to families and friends and of course the bill is paid for by the F.E.S.A.” 

 This has also delayed F.E.S.A.’s response to emergencies and fires.

 “No matter how great an initiative is, gossip and misusing it always ruins for everyone using it.

“So my advice to the Commissioner of Fire, initiatives such as these having two eyes is not enough.

“You should have eight eyes, two at the front, two on the side and two at the back so that you can monitor all that is happening at the call center.”

Minister Afamasaga told the Samoa Observer said the move is a must for safety reasons. 

“There are a number of reasons the move is necessary. The 911 emergency numbers is a universal number and am glad that Samoa has opted to make this change,” said Afamasaga.  

“Also we have a number of tourists who come to Samoa and when they need help the number that comes to mind is 911.

“Again this is vital to ease up on the confusion but also a good move.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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