Rescue services soon an app away

PESHAWAR: In a bid to improve access to rescue services and their response times, the government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has signed an agreement with one of the largest ride-hailing mobile application services in the country.

According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the K-P authorities and Careem, the ride-hailing service, at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Peshawar on Wednesday, the latter will include the Peshawar Rescue 1122 service on its online application.

The move aims to optimise the vehicle dispatching process and enable the public to request emergency services such as ambulance and the fire brigade through a separate “Emergency Services Customer Car Type (CCT)” tab in the regular app.

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While talking about the initiative, K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said that the provincial government is taking pragmatic measures to improve the provision of essential services through the use of information technology.

He added that his government is leveraging technology to simplify and improve the lives of citizens.

“The signing of the MoU is the first initiative of its kind in the country which will provide citizens with access to emergency services using a simple mobile application. We are working on the digitalisation of [other] services which will not only be efficient but will also provide cheap services to citizens at their doorsteps.” Mahmood said.

All ambulance and fire brigade drivers, he said, will be trained by the ride-sharing company on using the online application.

The chief minister hoped that the move will help to improve response times of Rescue 1122 services in Peshawar. Once successful, he said, the services will be extended to the rest of the province enabling the government to save precious lives through tech-enabled solutions.

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“The K-P government has always been a strong proponent of working with the business community to ensure that Pakistanis receive the best possible services the state can provide,” he said.

The chief minister further spoke about the ongoing efforts of the relief and rehabilitation department of the province including the establishment of Rescue 1122 stations in Lower Kohistan, Malakand, Shangla and Lakki Marwat.

These schemes, he said, will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs1.28 billion.

Similarly, he said that two emergency stations are also being established, one each in two newly-merged tribal districts and one in the former frontier region at an estimated cost of Rs3.67 billion. He added that the provincial authorities have already released Rs2.5 billion.

“Work is underway to establish a Rescue 1122 station in Jamrud area of Khyber District,” he added.

To fight forest fires, CM Mahmood said that they have issued orders to procure all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) which are equipped with firefighting backpacks and other equipment.

“Tourist outreach station is also being set up in Kalam and Naran. These centres include emergency ambulances, snow blowers, container offices and arrangements for firefighting and water rescue services.

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