Not too long ago, my buddy Tolu and I were cruising down the Cameroon highway going southwards and noticed a small crowd and some go-slow on the other side of the road. Someone had been knocked down, it seemed. I slowed down a bit to gawk like the others and once we established what it was, I immediately called the emergency services on 112 and a lady answered the very first time.
“Hello, this is the LASG emergency services, how can we help you?”
“Sir, confirm Lekki-Epe expressway by Swiisstrade/Doby’s heaven on the side going to Lekki?”
“Your name and current location sir. OK. Our people are on their way, thank you”.
So we stopped at Tolu’s neighbourhood for an hour or so before I headed further south for home. I made a pit stop at the neigbourhood foamy liquid spot and checked my phone for messages, etc. It turns out that an artisan who was doing some work for me at my home and was supposed to be going to Agungi to get some supplies before returning to finish the work, had tried calling me and then sent a text to tell me he would not be returning due to some traffic he encountered. I called him to ask about the progress of the work. In the course of our discussion he told me the traffic was caused by an ambulance picking up an injured person near Swisstrade. I checked the time of his call and text and it was about 22 mins from the time I placed that call to emergency services. Going by the fact that the call itself took about 2-3 mins and the ambulance would have had to wade through traffic and then U-turn at VGC roundabout, if coming from Lekki side, it was a reasonable response time.
I did not even have to call Tolu to give him this feedback. I have seen the ambulance attending to people from time to time, since Fashola years till date, for this not to be a big deal.
But there is also the memory of a very bad emergency response incident on third mainland bridge a few months ago, which I hope they have learnt from and the logistics nightmare of having a burgeoning population in a sprawling metropolis full of “sometimes” heavy traffic and barely motor-able inner city roads. But it can only get better.
Have you had the need to call the LASG emergency services? What has been your experience. Also, tell us how they can improve.