It occurred to me the day I went back to work after my maternity leave that I didn’t know any other emergency number besides 10111. Thankfully I have never had to use this but I couldn’t risk leaving my daughter at home with her caregiver without leaving a more comprehensive list of important numbers by the phone.
The last thing you want to do in an emergency is dial the wrong number. In the US, the UK and Europe there is only one toll-free number to call from any landline or mobile phone. In South Africa, things are not as simple. Unfortunately there isn’t one single number for an emergency.
I spent a really long time searching the web and making a couple of phone calls but I finally managed to put together this simple list. It is vital that you as parents and/or caregivers know what number to dial when and it is perhaps even more important that your little ones know this too.
USING YOUR CELL PHONE:
Any emergency nationwide – 112 (this number will still work even if you have no airtime)
USING YOUR LANDLINE OR CELL PHONE:
Police/Fire – 10111
Nationwide ambulance (public EMS) – 10177
Netcare 911 (private EMS) – 082 911
ER 24 (private EMS) – 084 124
Poison Information Centre – 0861 555 777
Remember, before making that emergency call, try to stay calm. You also need to have important information ready such as, the type of emergency, details of any injuries and the exact location of the emergency needing attention.
You can download a list of important emergency numbers here. It may be a good idea to stick this on your fridge or somewhere nearby the phone.