An Emergency Medical Service team of Hamad Medical Corporation giving assistance to an all terrain vehicle accident ‘victim’ during the simulation.
By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: A plan to expand the fleet of air ambulances this year will enable the service to run 24 hours, a senior official of the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) said yesterday.
HMC is to add three bigger helicopters to its fleet of two choppers. The air ambulance service, called LifeFlight, has a 43-member paramedical crew which responds to emergency calls from 6am to midnight. Each helicopter can carry one patient.
The service responds to an average of 100 to 110 calls every month, most of these triggered by road accidents and traumas.
“Three new helicopters will be added to the service before the end of this year. They will be bigger than the helicopters now in operation. These will help to transport two passengers at a time,” Wayne Thomson, Manager of the Aeromedical Service at HMC told reporters on the sidelines of an ambulance service simulation held at the Mushara dunes. “The need for the helicopter service has increased and it will be available 24 hours as soon as new helicopters start functioning,” he added.
A LifeFlight will be dispatched for emergencies like a heart attack or someone becoming unconscious. An increased need for the air ambulance service at the dunes near Sealine during the winter camping season has been felt. HMC’s air ambulance service started in 2007 when it used to work from sunrise to sunset. It was operating for 18 hours in 2011. The Peninsula
Hamad Medical Corporation’s paramedical team rushed to the Mushara dunes, near Sealine area, where an all terrain vehicle (ATV) ‘rolled over’ yesterday morning. They were followed by a LifeFlight air ambulance as part of a simulation on how the ambulance service would respond to an ATV accident in the dunes.
It was demonstrated as part of ‘Help us Help you’ campaign to raise awareness about the five ways people can help smooth things in case of an emergency and how to react to an ATV accident.
The ambulance arrived at the site in a very short time after calling the emergency service. Air ambulance landed near the accident site within four minutes to airlift the ‘critically injured’ patient.
Ambulance service experts advise people to drive to the dunes in groups, know how to describe the dunes and their names and always wear helmet and protective clothing when riding ATVs.
They advise to call 999 immediately after an emergency occurs, give clear directions to the location, answer all questions asked by the ambulance service, follow instructions and give way to ambulances and paramedics on the road.