Reader says call directly and do not count on 911

Advice That May Save Your Life in Costa Rica

Recently a Costa Rican friend of my daughter had a fire in their home. They made the fatal error of calling 911 and were told help is on the way. After 35 minutes and no response, fortunately a neighbor called the closest fire station directly, who did respond rapidly. Unfortunately, due to the 911 delay, the firemen did not arrive at the house until 40 minutes after the fire started. Of course everything in the house was destroyed. This was a horrific tragedy. They lost everything and calling 911 first actually made things much worse after being given a fatal false sense of security.

If you have an emergency in Costa Rica, do not rely on only calling 911. Find out where the closest police station is to your house, visit them in person and ask for their direct phone number. Find out where the closest fire station is to your house, visit them in person and ask for their direct phone number. Call the Red Cross and get the best phone number for their ambulance service, which is the best in the country.

Write down all three numbers and leave them next to the phone as well as carrying them with you at all times. When you have an emergency, always call them directly first. If you wish go ahead and also call 911 afterwards, but do not rely on just making one call to 911.

Edward Bridges
20 Years In Desamparados

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