Ilocos Norte emergency hotline launched

LAOAG CITY —- At least four dedicated staff equipped with three computers, cellular phones, landlines and a quick database of all the contact numbers of police stations, hospitals and fire stations of the 21 municipalities and two cities here are now ready to serve at the ground floor of the Provincial Capitol building for a faster and more efficient response in times of emergency.

The 911 Provincial Incidence Response Management (PIRM) center officially went live on Thursday, December 22, as the newly-trained Capitol staff along with assigned personnel of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office (INPPO) conducted a dry run operation of the localized 911 emergency response of the province. The center shall operate around the the clock or 24/7.

Though the so-called public safety answering point software has yet to be installed in Ilocos Norte, powered by PLDT, residents reporting a fire or vehicular traffic incident for example may temporary contact the following numbers: 077-600-0948/ 077-772-1772 (landline); 0999 999 7707 (Smart) and 0917 109 9911 (Globe).

Targeting an average of 5-minute quick response in relaying information from a distress caller to field responders during emergency situations, INPPO Provincial Director Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. said the PIRM aims to speed up the relay of information to direct responders near the area where the incident happened.

Aligned with President Rodrigo Duterte’s nationwide 24-hour hotlines for citizen complaints (8888) and emergencies (911), Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa Marcos also initiated the establishment of Ilocos Norte’s own emergency response center, similar to the Davao model.

“For Christmas, I think it’s very important that there be an emergency hotline. Unfortunately, during this month of merriment ay ito ang buwan na maraming nagpapasaklolo at kung ano-anong emergency,” said Marcos.

She however noted that the operation center operation has yet to go on full swing while waiting for the installation of other equipment and a dedicated firetruck and ambulance for quick response in times of emergencies and disasters.