Panama Fire Dept. fights false alarms

The director of the Fire Department of Panama (CBP) , Jaime Villar, reported yesterday that CBP loses about $600,000 a year due to false alarms.

However, Villar said, that what is most serious, is how these false alarms are negatively affecting the population when a real emergency takes place.

Over 300 false alarm calls are received daily on a national level; that is, more than 100 thousand a year.

The false calls, however, are not the only inconvenience suffered by the security forces in recent years. Now, they also have to deal daily with fake news in social networks, which often make them move towards alleged disasters.

To combat both these problems, the Ministry of Government, the CBP, the National System of Civil Protection (Sinaproc) and the private sector, yesterday formed the Great National Alliance for Humanitarian Assistance.

This alliance seeks, on one hand, to eliminate the setbacks caused by the distribution of false news reports to the security forces and, on the other, to provide the population with reliable information about the natural events that are occurring or are about to happen.

The director of Sinaproc, José Donderis , said that to ensure that the population has access to accurate information they will have a human team that will review and validate all audios, images and written information that is disseminated on social networks.

In addition, they announced that as of next week, they will begin to give advice to nationals and foreigners in the country and identify when they are facing a false or true news.

"The security and rescue units work 24 hours a day, so they know first-hand what is happening in the country. In addition, we have the ability to issue early warnings on natural events, "the official concluded.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Government, Carlos Rubio, reiterated that the alliance will fight fake news with true information and will serve to spread prevention messages which will help save lives.