Almost 2,000 emergency calls in Gauteng on New Year’s Eve

Henry

While most people were celebrating the arrival of the new year, Gauteng emergency service workers were scrambling to respond to nearly 2,000 emergency calls on New Year’s Eve.

The Gauteng emergency communications center says that from 06:00 on December 31 to 06:00 on New Year’s Day, a total of 1,914 calls were received for all kinds of emergencies. This is almost double the number of calls recorded on average per day since 15 December.

Most calls were related to medical emergencies such as asthma attacks, epilepsy and heart attacks. According to the Gauteng Department of Health, there were 898 calls related to this type of emergency.

A total of 468 calls were also made during this time about incidents of assault, as well as shooting and burn wounds.

There were only 102 calls about car accidents and 42 calls about suicide and suicide attempts.

“Compared to the same period in 2022-’23, there was only a minimal decrease in the number of calls received,” says Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, MEC of health in Gauteng.

In the same period in 2022-23, the emergency communications center received a total of 1,929 emergency calls. The majority were for medical emergencies (862), followed by trauma cases (482), car accidents (105) and suicide and suicide attempts (53).

In the period between 15 December 2023 and 1 January this year, a total of 16,876 emergency calls were made in Gauteng, which is around 1,200 calls less than in the same period in 2022-’23.

“Trauma cases did increase during this time and rose from 5,795 in the previous year to 6,000 in 2023-’24,” says Nkomo-Ralehoko.

There was a slight increase in calls about car accidents (from 1,676 to 1,682) and a significant decrease in the number of calls made about suicide and suicide attempts (from 771 to 702).

Nkomo-Ralehoko says she is satisfied with how the province’s emergency service operator handled all these emergencies over the festive period.

“I want to thank our dedicated health workers across Gauteng for working tirelessly during this busy time,” she says.

“Their dedication and professionalism is commendable.”

Nkomo-Ralehoko also appealed to all residents and visitors of the province to only call the emergency communication center when there is a real emergency, “as this significantly improves the response time for those who are in need”.

“The statistics can be drastically improved if people behave more responsibly and considerately towards others.”