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011 375 5911; 10177

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PAIA, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000) 

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WHEN faced with an emergency – be it medical or accident – the team Joburg residents turn to is the City’s emergency management services (EMS). Its emergency and firefighting staff cope with about 250 000 calls a year.

EMS badge With 29 base stations, Joburg’s EMS is one of the biggest emergency services units in Africa. It covers an area of 1 620km² and serves a population of almost 3,6 million.

Central to its operations is the saving of lives and property.

Headed by Tshepo Makola, the EMS aims to be “a leading, world-class, African emergency management service”. Among her successes at the helm of the organisation is an improvement in emergency response times and an increasing number of women in the service.


The EMS has five directorates:

 What to do in an emergency:
  1. Contact the Control Centre on 10177 or 112 if you are phoning from a cellphone.
  2. Try to remain calm.
  3. Identify the emergency: motor accident, building fire, heart attack and so on.
  4. Give your name and contact details.
  5. State the nature of the incident.
  6. Indicate the number of people or vehicles involved.
  7. Give the physical address and nearest corner or landmark.
  8. Remain on the line as long as possible to answer the operator's questions.

Key people

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety: Yao-Heng Michael Sun


  • Operations is a core department, dealing with the saving of lives and property when disasters or accidents happen.
  • Disaster management and pier (public information, education and relations) division deals with disaster planning and mitigation. It needs to ensure that every disaster is anticipated and that there are plans in place to deal with any eventuality.
  • Proactive services and fire safety focuses on preventing fires.
  • Corporate services and academy supports the EMS with a wide range of services, including training, fleet management, human resources, finance and administration.
  • Management support focuses on communications and marketing, quality assurance and research, transformation and employment equity, and special projects.

The EMS has its headquarters in the Johannesburg metropolitan police department building, at 195 Main Road, Martindale. It also has two customer information kiosks at Sandton central and at the Alexandra customer service centre, on the corner of Eighth Avenue and Roosevelt Street.

The service can be contacted on 011 375 5911.

For more information, the EMS’s media liaison officer, Nana Lindiwe Radebe can be contacted on 011 222 8056 - Cell: 083 444 6849


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Last Updated on 30 June 2017