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October 18, 2020

Rescue 1122 completes 16 years of service

Lahore

October 18, 2020

LAHORE : The Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) completed 16 years of successful emergency services delivery in all 36 districts of Punjab.

During this span of time, Rescue Service rescued around 8.6 million victims of different emergencies. In this regard, a ceremony was held at Emergency Services Academy, Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore. Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was the chief guest of the 16th anniversary of the Punjab Emergency Service which was started on October 14, 2004 by the then Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

The ceremony was attended by all pioneer rescue team, officers and official of Rescue Service and a large number of rescue cadets, instructors of academy.

Addressing the ceremony, the PA Speaker said it was the great moment to be here with Rescue family. He said it was worth mentioning that the Service was started in his tenure as chief minister and at that time this was a unique initiative to serve humanity. Soon after establishment of the Service, Punjab Emergency Service Act was unanimously passed by Punjab Assembly to provide legal cover to it.

“This is the only reason that every government was compelled to own it and serve the nation as the system of emergency management is self-explanatory due to its professional service delivery,” he added. He also appreciated the efforts of Founder Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer and his pioneer team, who burnt their midnight oil to establish an exemplary model of Emergency Service in Punjab which has been replicated in other provinces of Pakistan. He also shared his experiences and pleasant memories regarding the Service, saying it was a great challenge and extremely difficult to take this unique initiative when nobody was willing to attend and touch the victims of the accidents. “When I was chief minister, I always prayed to Almighty Allah to bestow me to do something for the welfare of the common people of Pakistan and Allah answered this prayer,” he said. He assured that service rules and regulations would be formulated soon for the periodic promotion of dedicated rescuers. He accused that all issues faced by Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) would be resolved. He expressed his gratitude over successful completion of 16 years of humanitarian services with professional excellence. He also congratulated Emergency Services Academy team on becoming the first UN INSAARG Certified Team in South Asia. The pioneers present the album of memories to the PA Speaker. Emergency Services Academy certified team presented UN INSARAG shield to Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122) Founder Director General Dr Rizwan Naseer congratulated all rescuers especially the pioneers upon completion of 16 years of the Service with dedication and providing the right to timely emergency care without discrimination to 8.6 million helpless victims of emergencies and disasters.

He also said that Emergency Services Academy had trained over 19,000 emergency professionals from all provinces of Pakistan and it’s a great honour for the country that the rescue team of Emergency Services Academy had become the first United Nations INSARAG certified disaster response team in South Asia. While sharing his memories, Dr Rizwan Naseer said that the Punjab Emergency Service was started as an Emergency Ambulance Service as a pilot project from Lahore in 2004. Keeping in view the failure of repeated attempts to revitalise and modernise the existing emergency services, everyone was very skeptical about the project’s success. Therefore, establishment of this Service was a great challenge, especially when there were no trained emergency personnel or emergency training institutes available in Pakistan and even the emergency departments of the teaching hospitals did not have trained emergency paramedics. He said that against all odds, the Service was established after successfully meeting all the challenges which included recruitment of right staff and training on modern lines, acquisition of appropriate land for rescue stations, construction of rescue stations, ambulances of international standards ambulances, rescue and fire vehicles in Pakistan, acquisition of toll-free emergency number 1122 and wireless frequencies, development and establishment of vehicle tracking and call monitoring systems for control room for effective monitoring. He said that after third-party evaluation, which revealed this service to be exemplary in terms of training; quality care, response and professionalism, the Service was established in all 36 districts of Punjab and expansion to the tehsil level would be completed by the end of 2020.

The Rescue DG said that Rescue 1122, which was just an idea 16 years ago had now turned into a reality of an effective system of emergency preparedness, response and prevention. Although, an international standard emergency service is available for rescue of emergency victims, the alarming increase in the number of avoidable road accidents and fire incidents necessitate the need to work together for prevention of such emergencies to build a safer Pakistan to which the PA Speaker could effectively contribute, he said. He requested Pervaiz Elahi to expedite the approval of service regulations by holding a meeting of Punjab Emergency Council so that all staff could be promoted on regular basis.