An emergency is a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation, although in some situations, mitigation may not be possible and agencies may only be able to offer palliative care for the aftermath. The responsibilities of the different organisations dealing with an emergency vary, some are set in statute, and others fill a need. There are five main emergency service functions:

Law Enforcement

Enforcing laws, conducting criminal investigations, collecting evidence, apprehending suspects, securing the judicial system, and ensuring custody and rehabilitation of offenders. The primary areas of police responsibility at a major incident are:

  • Saving of life
  • Co-ordination during the Emergency Phase
  • Calling out of essential services
  • Protection and preservation of the scene
  • Investigation
  • Identification of the dead
  • Collation and dissemination of casualty information
  • Co-ordination of the media response
  • Application of counter measures to protect the public
  • Restoration of normality

Fire & Rescue Services

Zambia has 109 fire stations around the country, firefighters get called out to put out fires and to deal with other emergencies. They also spend time educating the community about preventing unwanted fires, fire suppression, fire prevention, hazardous materials control, technical rescue, building code enforcement, and fire safety education.

Emergency Medical Services

Providing medical care at the scene of an incident, during an infectious disease outbreak, and during patient transport and delivery to a hospital or other treatment facility. The ambulances respond to medical emergencies and accidents, treat patients at the scene and, if needed, transport them to hospital. They are available to help in emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency Management - providing incident management and coordination.

Public works

Assessing and repairing damage to buildings, roads, and bridges; clearing, removing, and disposing of debris from public spaces; restoring utility services; and managing emergency traffic.

Emergency service numbers in Zambia

Emergency services have one or more dedicated emergency telephone numbers reserved for critical emergency calls in Zambia, the numbers include:

  • 991 - Police
  • 992 - Medical Services
  • 993 - Fire Brigade
  • 112 - International Emergency Number