And now for something completely dystopian. Discovery has launched a new service in Johannesburg that is nothing more or less than a private firefighting service. Called Fire Force, the service runs in conjunction with Advanced Emergency Management Services (Advanced EMS). Because where is Discovery going to store a fire truck?
It’s not something that you just sign up for. The medical insurer offers the service to Discovery Insure customers who live within a specific radius of Johannesburg. It doesn’t seem like qualifying Insure customers need to do anything except phone the relevant phone number if a fire happens.
Quite the Discovery, this is
Fires occur every 6 hours in Johannesburg ⚠️ Introducing #DiscoveryInsure’s latest initiative towards enhancing and protecting lives. We are partnering with @Medi_Response @myfirefighters to provide private emergency assistance to clients in the event of a fire #FireForceZA 🔥 pic.twitter.com/O0wJfZCChO
— @Discovery_SA (@Discovery_SA) June 6, 2022
“Immediate assistance makes all the difference when that accident that you never thought you’d have, actually happens. The new Fire Force offering is a true manifestation of Discovery’s core purpose of enhancing and protecting lives by keeping our clients and communities safe,” said Anton Ossip, head of Discovery Insure.
It’s an indictment of South Africa’s current position that this announcement actually sounds… kinda useful. Nobody wants to be relying on a government service when their property is on fire, after all. The point, obviously, is to get someone to your home/car/whatever as fast as possible. The company has a promotional advert and everything.
But here’s also where it gets a little dystopian. Picture the scene. Your home is going up in flames. You’ve given up on a government-run solution because the trucks aren’t running, anyway. So you call your insurer and ask them to head on over. But… you’re outside of the coverage area. Or you missed your last few premiums and no longer qualify. Or, worst, your claim is denied because this is considered a pre-existing conflagration.
Still, in the event you take Discovery up on their fire-fighting skills, you’ll find that blue fire trucks will turn up at the smoking ruin of everything you used to own. At least then your neighbours will know you’re able to afford to pay Discovery every month. The trucks themselves are stationed in Rosebank and Midrand and should manage most Joburg fires. Putting them out, we mean. Turns out, they start well enough on their own.
“The safety of our clients and the communities in which they live is crucial to the ethos of Discovery Insure. However, implementing important fire prevention strategies at home and within your place of work is equally important.,” said Hadley Shapiro, managing director of Advanced EMS.