If you have lived in India and you have had any experience with the emergency services, like the police or the fire brigade, you are in for a shock when you see the emergency service network and the response time anywhere else.
I might have travelled to a lot of countries, but I have lived in only two. And this is one thing that fascinates every Indian immigrant in the US.
The first time I realized this was when I came to the US and was living in a hotel. The fire alarm went off, and by the time I had evacuated my room, the firefighters were already there. I was flabbergasted – yeah, I was that surprised. It happened in LA. After moving to Austin. I have experienced this twice or thrice may be, and they have not failed in surprising me their response time!
911 or the national emergency number of the US has an average turn around time of fewer than 12 minutes, depending on the severity of the emergency. That is like – WOW! You will see the average response time of 100 (Indian police emergency number) to be on the internet as 7-10 minutes. However, I have been in many “emergency” situation back home, and the time doesn’t resonate. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say that most of the US-based television drama and movies don’t show it wrong when they show the efficiency of 911!
Another super impressive emergency service in the US is the Amber alert or the emergency child abduction alert system. Any child abduction information is broadcasted to the general public to help in generating leads. The messages are transmitted as flash networks on all cellphone networks – even if you are on roaming. And it is a very loud and flashy message. Sometimes, very severe weather warnings are also broadcasted in the same way.
Not just that, when you will see the general public’s discipline in helping the emergency services, you will realize that India still needs to learn a lot. Traffic makes space for the ambulances and fire brigades. And if the police is on a chase, people actually follow the rule of driving, leaving one adjacent lane.
This is something that takes times to get used to but for good!