regulatory body Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Tuesday handed
over telephone sets to The Gambia Fire and Rescue Services to help facilitate
their easy access to emergency calls. The handing ceremony was held at the PURA
head office along Kairaba Avenue.
PURA’s director general Ansumana Sanneh said an emergency is a situation that poses immediate risk to health, life, property and the environment and requires urgent intervention to address a situation to prevent it from worsening.
He said in line with the country’s emergency service obligation, PURA is mandated under Section 34 of the Information and Communications Act 2009 to ensure that telecommunications operators provide free access to emergency police, fire service and medical numbers preferably three digits to their subscribers.
Mr. Sanneh said correspondingly, PURA in consultation with the operators have provided the free emergency call number 116 to Hospital Ambulance Service, 117 to the Police and 118 to the Fire and Rescue Services accessible to the general public on a 24/7 basis.
He stressed that the timely access to information from emergency calls is critical for emergency response and his office therefore saw the need to work closely with the fire services.
“Fire and Rescue Services is responsible for fire suppression, prevention, hazardous materials control, technical rescue and fire safety education. It is in line with this regard that we signed MoU with them to help in exercising some functions to not only improve emergency call response but to also sensitise the general public on emergency access and services.”
According to him, the provision of telephone sets to the fire and rescue services was as a result of faulty telephone sets they discovered during PURA’s last countrywide tour. “PURA will install the telephone sets in all the fire and rescue services stations in the country.”
Regional fire officer Samba Jacob Jarjue thanked PURA for being a real and good partner, noting that was not the first time they were rendering help to fire and rescue services. “I understand that they are sponsoring all our radio talk shows by our safety unit”, he said.