Posted on December 30, 2018

The ‘Know the 5 to save a life’ national campaign aimed at educating the public about the key actions to take when calling an ambulance in an emergency situation, which is being run by the Ambulance Service of Hamad Medical Corporation, has created widespread awareness in the country by reaching different segments of the society, said a senior official. The campaign was previously run in 2013 and is being rerun in 2018 to highlight the messages to the public. 

Each year the Ambulance Service receives more than 250,000 calls and many of these are requesting emergency support for life-threatening incidents. “The Ambulance Service always sees the provision of providing emergency service is a team effort between us and those who need our help. That is why we always stick to the philosophy of ‘help us help you’ and know the 5 to save a life,” said Brendon Morris, Executive Director, Ambulance Service. “The campaign has been successful in creating awareness on the roads. We note that more people are making way for ambulances, so we can move through the traffic. The community is concerned about those who are in need and making way for us,” he added.

Ambulance Service reaches to the emergency location within ten minutes in 93.29 percent of cases inside Doha. And this is within 15 minutes for 97.47 percent outside cases. The major intersections of the country has Emergency Vehicle Preemption System (EVPS), a GPS based system on the traffic lights receives signals from the emergency vehicle unit. These devices request green lights hundreds of meters ahead the arrival of the emergency vehicle.

But the Ambulance Service through some case studies and by revising incidents has found that some motorists are still unaware of giving way to ambulances in an intersections which are not compatible with a EVPS. “We often find ambulances are in the intersection, and cars keep going. At intersections though it is a green signal for the motorists, they should stop so ambulance can move through the intersection and get to the emergency,” said Morris.“Many new people keep coming here all the time. They are from different countries where different expectations are followed about how to react and response to an ambulance,” he added. Morris also urged the public to assist the ambulance service to identify and enter the premises when they arrive at a private location.   

The ‘Know the 5 to save a life’ campaign’s messages are: Dial 999 immediately, Know your location, Answer all questions asked, Follow all instructions given and Give way to ambulances on roadways. HMC’s Ambulance Service received 239,782 calls in 2016, the number was 269053 in 2017 and from January to November this year, it received 277, 553 calls. At present HMC’s Ambulance Service has a strong fleet of emergency vehicles which are dispatched according to the need. It includes 165 urban emergency ambulances, 60 rural ambulances, a rapid responsive unit with 35 critical care paramedics and supervisory vehicles, 78 ambulances to transfer patients from one healthcare facility to another and 12 4x4 vehicles to respond any emergency in the desert. Also LifeFlights are dispatched to critically patients by air. 

source: The Peninsula