Emergency Rescue Naga is a low-cost program to democratize access to services in emergencies, thereby providing equity along with Naga 's economic growth. The idea started out of the frustration of the city government staff after they heard the news that a woman had died while giving birth in a tricycle on her way to the hospital.
Begun in May 1991, Emergency Rescue Naga addresses the urgent need for fast, reliable service in times of emergency. ERN provides 24-hour quick response medical and protective services to Naga City residents during life and property-threatening situations. The program mobilizes the combined resources of the city government (especially the police and fire departments), the local assoc\iation of barangay councils, government and private hospitals and schools, radio stations, local amateur radio groups and private medical volunteers in providing (a) emergency rescue and transfer; (b) first aid; (c) ambulance service; (d) quick police response; (e) traffic control; (f) firefighting; (g) safety promotions: and (h) disaster preparedness and control.
In three years, the program has responded to 10,000 calls, serving 15,000 people. Effective coordination among participants. primarily through the use of two-way radios in every barangay and a telephone hotline, enabled the program to attain a 3-5 minute average response time within the city proper to 30 minutes for the farthest mountain barangays some 17 kilometers away. During the onslaught of typhoon Monang in December 1993, the ERN was the only communication network that did not break down.
This partnership between the local governments, private sector, and civic-minded citizens has made possible equitable access to quality quick-response services for around 126,000 people in Naga from all walks of life. Lately, the program has expanded to include service to residents of neighboring municipalities.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.