In Case Of An Emergancy

1. Low Severity Incidents: Code 1

Low severity incidences include those events that cause personal stress, loss of property and challenges, but not cause injury or serious concerns. Usually these incidences are fairly easy to correct, to handle or to solve and can most of the time be solved with the student/ intern or resident of a house themselves with little help and support of others.

1.1 Electricity/ water incidents in the home: (Also including “load shedding”)

• These would include incidents where the water supply is cut or/ there is a leakage.
• The electricity has been cut off, there are power-cuts nationally or a short switch caused a fire to occur.
WHAT TO DO?
• Check that all taps or electrical points are switched off
• Check the equipment, check for water around electrical points and dry the area after switching off the mains.
• Inform the staff of XChange.
• Inform the Council as their number is displayed in your house, or sms 31220 the problem and the address it is at.
• If it is load-shedding – be very patient. It will come on again. Schedules are usually posted to everyone to put up in houses.

1.2Locked in or out of the house:

Intern
Contact the XChange office or a staff memberof XChange. A business card handed to you on arrival, together with a full detailed telephone list which is available and handed to all our students ensure you have all telephone numbers from the beginning. That includes the all hours numbers of our staff.

XChange will:
• Arrange for an individual with a spare key to assist intern in this situation
• If no spare key is available, contact a legitimate locksmith to assist intern
• We would suggest where the person should go to wait for the door to be unlocked so that their safety is not in any way compromised. Most houses are close together.

1.3Fender- bender with car or Scratch of vehicle:

If you are involved in a very minor incident with a rental car, do the following:
• Take down the name, contact details of the other person involved, car model, colour, and registration number. Even go so far as to take photo’s if you have your cell phone with you.
• Report it to the rental company as they will guide you as what needs to be done
• Report it to the local police to cover yourself.
• All accidents – minor or major should be reported to the police.

1.4 Flat tyre:
• Normally a flat tyre should be changed by the driver of the car.
Should you be unable to do so, call a friend, call the owner of the rental car or the insurance companyinvolved.
• If in an area where you don’t think it is safe to do it yourself, try to contact either someone you know, the car rental company, the traffic police who is fairly visible on our roads or flag down a police vehicle. Your safety is important and you should not take chances. Keep your car doors locked and possessions hidden under the seat.

1.5 Car breakdown next to road:
• Contact the rental agent firstly. The companies we co-operate with all have a tow-in service and road-side assistance.
• Often you will be given the emergency details of the rental company’s response unit. Carry the details with you at all times and contact them.

1.6 General medical concerns:
• This would include situations where the intern has found him/herself getting sick with flu, stomach bug, problems with your teeth or less serious incidences.
• If the person is not familiar with his or her area, report the incident/ concern to XChange as we can assist you very quickly in either finding a doctor or getting to a doctor. We keep a data base of all the doctors in each area where we have houses.
• Most of the time, such numbers might also be displayed in our houses.
• Should a student require ongoing medical support in the county or special medication, we usually are asked before the time and make arrangements with specific doctors to assist with these matters. This eliminates all concerns even before the student arrives in the country.

1.7 Minor theft of items left on display, exposed or left in a window where it was visible to all walking by.
• Report the incident to the people in your house – firstly to check if one of them did not perhaps put the item away or remove it to a safe place.
• Inform XChange of the incident as we might be able to assist you quickly.
• Inform the police services. Numbers displayed in all houses.
• Don’t touch anything should they wish to take finger prints.
• Ensure you avoid creating such easy access to a potential criminal in the future.
• Avoid inviting strangers to your house as it might become a security risk in the future.
• Damage can usually be claimed from your personal insurance. That is why you need to get a case number and copy of the document for your records.

1.8 Losing a passport or driver’s licence.
• Report the incident to the people in your house – firstly to check if one of them did not perhaps put the item away or put it in a safe place.
• Report it to XChange.
• We will assist you in making contact with your local Consulate or Embassy to ensure you are able to obtain an emergency passport right away.
• You unfortunately cannot replace a foreign driver’s licence in South Africa.
• In most cases, some medical travel insurances or your personal insurance should cover the cost of replacing your passport for instance. Make sure you are familiar with the process.

1.9 Death of a family member in another country
• This is something that happens frequently.
• The student should notify XChange of such an incidence so that the company can offer moral and emotional support.
• XChange can assist by advising the student of options to perhaps claim against insurance, assist with the booking of flights if required and assist in getting the client to the airport.
• XChange would usually send a message to the family as we have access to the direct family’s contact details.
• Usually the client goes home for the funeral or in support of the family but returns after a couple of days to continue the internship period.

2.0 Cash withdraws, carrying cash, paying in cash
• Care should be taken not to withdraw money in dark areas, from banks with autobanks on the street where you are in full view of the people around you, or where you open a purse, a wallet or a handbag where large amounts of cash is displayed.
• Avoid going to autobanks at night or even going alone. It’s always best to have people around you that you know.
• Cash should never be carried all in one place.
• Cash should never be displayed.
• Don’t let anyone offer to help you at any autobank other than an official from a bank.
• If your card gets stolen, report it immediately to your own bank, then to the police. You have to get a case number and you have to stop your card immediately.
• If your card gets swallowed in by the autobank, immediately report it by calling the number listed at each autobank. They will inform you of the process to get your card back.

2. Medium Severity Incidents: Code 2

Although not life threatening, code 2 incidences are serious and should be dealt with accordingly. This could include injuries, muggings, robberies, a health threat, damage to a vehicle or house, but it has to be reported and there is a process that needs to be followed.

2.1 Non-violent mugging/Pick- Pocketing:
Intern
• Immediately contact the police (number provided on emergency contact list)
• Make sure you are able to give the police a clear description of the person’s clothing, colours, hair, or any special features.
• Make a statement with the police regarding the circumstances surrounding the incident
• Get a case number so that you can claim on your personal insurance later on and get a copy of the police report for your own use, claim against insurance or proof of something.
• Contact XChange to report the incident
XChange
• Confirm whether or not the intern has suffered some trauma
• Does the intern need immediate assistance
• Does the intern have enough money for the week
• Can the intern access the house or has he/ she been locked out when keys got stolen
• Arrange a meeting with the intern to discuss the event or do a telephonic interview.
• Send a briefing email to the organization the intern is placed at or through.
• Check in weekly with the intern in order to monitor trauma/ feelings surrounding the incident
• Change locks where needed if keys were stolen.

2.2Sickness where a person needs to be hospitalized:
Intern
• Contact XChange and report the situation or incident
• We can either take you to a doctor or quickly arrange for an appointment with a good one.
• Inform your medical insurance.

XChange
• Identify the issue or problem
• Confirm if the intern needs immediate assistance
• Contact the Doctor for an appointment or drive to the Hospital
• Collect all the intern’s information with regards to identification (insurance, passport, etc)
• Contact the organisation to inform them on the intern’s absence
• Once recovered, follow up weekly

2.3 Theft at one of the Houses:
Intern
• Report the incident to the people in your house – firstly to check if one of them did not perhaps put the item away or remove it to a safe place.
• Inform XChange of the incident as we might be able to assist you quickly.
• Inform the police services. Numbers displayed in all houses.
• Don’t touch anything should they wish to take finger prints.
• Damage can usually be claimed from your personal insurance. That is why you need to get a case number and copy of the document for your records.
• Contact the Neighbourhood watch or the Police immediately
• XChange will report the incident to the owner of the house immediately as they are often better suited to deal with their own house.
XChange
• If needed, staff to accompany intern to the police station to make a statement
• Ask the owner of the house to go to the house to deal with the issue.
• Inform interns from the other houses of what had happened in order for them to be vigilant

2.4 Non- injury accidents:
Intern
• Report the incident to the people in your house. They are usually the closest to you.
• Inform XChange of the incident as we might be able to assist you quickly.
• Inform the police services. Numbers displayed in all houses.
• Damage can usually be claimed from your personal insurance. That is why you need to get a case number and copy of the document for your records.
• Contact the Neighbourhood watch or the Police immediately
• XChange will report the incident to the owner of the house immediately as they are often better suited to deal with their own house.

XChange
• If needed, staff to accompany intern to the police station to make a statement
• Ask the owner of the house to go to the house to deal with the issue.
• Inform interns from the other houses of what had happened in order for them to be vigilant

3. High Severity Incidents: Code 3

Code 3 is a serious issue that requires serious action from the agency, from other students, parents, agents, universities, the police and or consulates. The death, serious injury, kidnapping, abuse etc. of a client should be taken in the most serious manner and dealt with accordingly. Nothing prepares one for something like this, but one has to be clear on what to do in a case that involves one of the below incidences.

3.1 Accident with serious injury:
Intern
• Contact hospital or doctor for assistance if the student is able to communicate in any way
• Make sure you have all your documentation with you, if not contact a peer to get the documents or contact XChange
• If you are able to talk, walk or move, take photo’s, take down names, and details of the cars involved or the place where it happened
• Get someone to contact the police
• Contact XChange to report the incident

XChange
• Confirm that the intern is ok
• Enquire whether or not the intern has followed protocol, and does he/she need assistance
• Usually if it is a more serious accident, XChange would contact the parents of the students directly. We have a full contact list of the next of kin of each student with their telephone numbers.
• Confirm that the intern has all necessary documentation
• Contact the interns’ emergency contact, depending on the severity of the injury
• Contact the organisation the intern was placed at to inform them of his/her absence
• Discuss whether or not the intern would want to go back home or stay in SA, depending on the severity of the injury
• Call an office meeting with the intern
• Follow up weekly

3.2 Arrest of an Intern:
Intern
• Arrange with someone to contact XChange immediately
• Usually if it is a more serious accident, XChange would contact the parents of the students directly. We have a full contact list of the next of kin of each student with their telephone numbers.

XChange
• Do not question the participant directly as it is considered as a privileged conversation
• Find out as much information as you can about the incident and severity of the incident from external parties
• Contact the intern’s emergency contact person

3.3 Robbery/ Mugging with a weapon:
Intern
• Call an ambulance ER911 or get taken to a hospital by a friend
• Arrange with someone to contact XChange immediately

XChange
• Enquire how severe the trauma is with the intern
• Determine whether the intern needs assistance with the reporting procedure or medical care
• Ask the intern if you can contact his/her emergency contact persons – usually the parents.
• Someone will have to organise a payment if this is necessary so that treatment can be done
• Check that the intern has all his/her medical insurance details/passport or emergency information in case they need medical care
• We usually contact the insurance companies involved to get support from them.
• Contact a professional who can assist with the trauma counselling and debriefing of the intern
• Contact the home-country consulates if necessary
• Contact the intern’s emergency contact person
• Determine whether or not the intern wants to go back home or remain in SA
• Follow-up weekly after the incident and the trauma has been stabilized

3.4 Rape/ Sexual Abuse or Physical Abuse:
Intern
• Contact XChange to report the incident or a friend who’s number you have access to immediately.
• Contact the local clinic immediately and take a peer/ friend with to accompany you for an assessment and ensure you check for HIV/Aids and get medication.
• Once assessment is done, it is important to contact the police station to make a charge and submit the evidence. You will usually get help from a local social worker.
• Try to write down everything you can remember e.g. clothing, colours, what was said, the place where it happened. When in trauma, one can easily forget details.
• As cases of abuse of any type, it is really important to ensure you inform a responsible person as things normally cause great stress, confusion and having to deal with everything alone, is not advisable.

XChange
• Enquire how severe the trauma is with the intern.
• Determine whether the intern needs assistance with the reporting procedure.
• Ask the intern if you can contact his/her emergency contact persons to inform them.
• It is important not to question the intern about the incident at this time, as it can cause more severe trauma and emotional damage.
• Contact the students medical insurance to ensure she/he can get immediate medical support.
• Contact a professional who can assist with the trauma counselling and debriefing of the intern.
• Determine whether or not the intern wants to go back home or remain in SA.
• Follow-up weekly after the incident and the trauma has been stabilized.
• Help to get legal help if needed.

3.5 Kidnapped/ missing Intern:
XChange
• Contact XChange immediately as we would know what needs to be done and report your concerns.
• Depending on the length of time the person has been missing, XChange will contact the police and the parents of the student and the partnership university or agency to inform them of your concerned
• XChange will go to the police to make an official missing person’s report.
• Housemates and XChange can answer all necessary questions regarding the intern’s personal information, time frame, missing belongings and make sure you can provide the police with a photo
• Contact the home-country consulates as they have a social division that’s usually very helpful and supportive
• Keep the student’s emergency contact persons informed regularly
• Ask them to trace credit card usage and other possible leads that can be followed up on e.g contact with friends in the period prior to the disappearance
• Get all the intern’s together for an incident report to obtain more knowledge surrounding the incident
• Contact the organisation/company the intern has been placed with to explain absence
• Keep everyone informed and feed basic information to the housemates and other students.
• Help arrange flights, airport pick-ups and housing for the parents or family of the missing person here in SA.

3.6 Death of an Intern:
XChange
• Contact the Police immediately
• If a Police investigation regarding the death was done, a copy of the police report must be fetched when it is made available
• Contact the home-country consulates as they usually assist to inform the family of the student.
• Contact the intern’s emergency contact person either direct or request that the consulate does it.
• Gather as much information possible for a full briefing of all concerned.
• The other intern’s may need trauma counselling and this must be arranged. Keep everyone informed.
• Contact the organisation/company the intern has been placed with and inform the agencies or universities involved
• Receive the family in the country should it be necessary.
• Take the families to all the places where matters have to be concluded e.g. the police, morgue, work, places where the person died etc. etc.
• Help arrange to get a lawyer involved should it be required.
• Keep the insurance companies involved and informed as they often accept responsibility to transport a body back oversees
• The travel insurance companies often also pay for the next of kin to be transported – inform them. There might be benefits for the family should the body need to be transported back oversees.
• Thank all concerned for their support.
• Should the media pick up on a story, one person from the agency should act as the contact person for the press. All enquiries can then be forwarded to one person only to avoid confusion and miss-information being distributed.

Suggested process of taking a first report of an incident:

• It is extremely important to remain calm and put the caller at ease. Determine the caller’s emotional state and bear in mind that he/she might be in a panic.

• Allow the caller to describe the incident in as much detail as possible, listen carefully and respond with empathy but remain professional.

• Handle the incident and the caller with sensitivity and try not to get emotionally caught up or involved in the caller’s emotions.

• It is important not to make any promises to the caller. Explain protocol and procedure to the caller and tell them you will call back according to protocol followed.

• Obtain a specific and detailed description of the incident, when and where. If a third party was involved, make sure that you get the details of their involvement, were there injuries and how severe. Also get the contact details of the third party, name, address, phone number and insurance information.

• If the police was contacted and are on the scene, make sure to get the reporting officers information and what police department he/she is based at.

• Explain to the caller that your next steps would be contacting the necessary parties. If the caller is seriously injured, be sure to contact his/her travel insurer and medical company. Emergency contact details are also provided for the intern’s, be sure to contact the family.