The City of Cape Town’s Public Emergency Communication Centre (PECC) is on a promotional drive at schools this week. The City emergency 107 number is at the heart of a play, designed specifically for children, that is being performed at 10 schools this week. Read more below:

As part of efforts to raise awareness about the centre’s role in an emergency, the City commissioned the Bridgetown Theatre Company to put together a production aimed at primary school learners.

The production is being performed at 10 schools this week in Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Hout Bay, Ocean View, Rondebosch, Bellville, Langa, Atlantis and Dunoon.

The interactive play highlights the 021 480 7700 number by teaching learners a jingle to help memorise the number and portrays scenarios where calling the number would come in handy.

The production pulls in well-known fairy tale characters like Cinderella, the Big Bad Wolf, Prince Charming and Goldilocks who find themselves in situations requiring assistance with a medical emergency or a crime in progress. Children are picked from the crowd, dressed in appropriate uniform and then brought on stage to help save the day, whether extinguishing a fire, arresting a criminal or providing medical assistance.

Each scene has a happy ending, and the production also includes a question and answer session where children discuss what they’ve learnt.

‘The PECC has visited hundreds of schools since its establishment in 2000, but we decided to breathe new life into our education and awareness strategy and what better way than to engage children in this manner?

‘At the end of this week, we will conduct a debriefing session before we plot the way forward, but ultimately, we would want to roll this out to even more schools. This type of production and the important message that we’re imparting is likely to resonate with children and, who knows, they could be the heroes of their own stories in the event of an emergency because they’d know where to turn for help,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

The PECC staff answered nearly 500 000 calls in the 2017/18 financial year. They dispatch resources based on the type of incident requiring attention. Alternatively, calls are relayed to external agencies like the Metro Emergency Medical Service (Metro EMS).

‘The emergency call centre is one of our most crucial resources, particularly over the festive season when they are often the first port of call in times of trouble. While we are directing our awareness efforts at children, I also encourage adults to ensure that they have the number saved on their cellphone. In an emergency, every second counts and the last thing you need is scrambling for contact details for the appropriate emergency services,’ added Alderman Smith.

The Public Emergency Communication Centre can be contacted by dialling 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cellphone.

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