HMC ambulance service holds awareness drive

January 25, 2013 - 3:13:57 am

HMC officials with children during the ambulance service campaign ‘I give way, help us help you’ at the Landmark Mall, yesterday. Abdul Basit

By Isabel Ovalle

DOHA: The Ambulance Service of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), which receives approximately 300 daily calls, has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the five ways people can help smooth things along in case of an emergency.

Under the slogan ‘I give way, help us help you’, the campaign will reach shopping malls and schools. The first of these initiatives features an ambulance located at Landmark mall, today and tomorrow from 4pm to 6pm, together with trained personnel, to inform about the service.

Rashid Andalia, Public Relations Manager of the Ambulance Service at HMC, told The Peninsula: “If you know the five ways, you can save lives. These ways are very easy and have been researched,” he said. 

The first item on this list is calling 999 immediately after the emergency occurs. “If you call early, we will come early,” he said, while urging people to be clear about their location: “Know where you are.”

The third and fourth entries on the list are answering all questions and following all instructions. 

In fifth place is the recommendation to give way to ambulances and paramedics on the road.

HMC launched a new fleet of state-of-the-art ambulances in April which now has 50 vehicles but will reach up to 100. “This ambulance was designed for Qatar, it is air conditioned for hot weather and easy to move in small villages,” said the HMC official. 

The equipment on the vehicle includes a device that gives automatic CPR which is used on long drives on the highway or in the air. There are approximately 60 to 65 ambulance units operating daily, except in case of extraordinary events, when the number of units in service is raised up to 80. The Ambulance Service receives about 300 calls every day, for emergency and non-emergency services. Each ambulance usually travels with two paramedics, one of them being the driver. 

HMC also has two helicopters for emergency transportation which operate until midnight. These helicopters are in  critical cases or when the patient is very far from the hospital. 

Khalid Al Qahtani, responsible for performance and training of staff at the Ambulance Service, said: “People don’t really know what’s inside the ambulance.

“I hope the new slogan can help them learn about it and trust paramedics. They are trained to assist in 31 different cases, like heart attack, bleeding or falls.” The Peninsula