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From left: Hassan Mohammed Al Hail, Director of Media, Marketing and Public Relations at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Ali Darwish Karbon Abdulla, Operations Manager of Ambulance Service at HMC and Rashid Andaila, PR Manager of Ambulance Service at a press conference at HMC, yesterday. (Shaival Dalal)
DOHA: Hamad Medical Cooperation’s ambulance service yesterday claimed they have reduced ‘response time’ from 11 minutes to 8. 3 minutes in 2012.
The time difference between a call is received and the arrival of the ambulance has been reduced by 2.7 minutes. “The ‘response time’ was 11 minutes in 2011 and was reduced to 8.3 in 2012,” said Ali Darwish Karbon Abdulla, Operations Manager, Ambulance Service.
“We were able to reach it by enhancing efficiency of the service,” he said on the sidelines of a press conference yesterday at the Hamad Medical City to launch a campaign to increase awareness about the service.
The ‘response time’ is decided upon various factors provided including available resources, efficiency, geographical situation and information given by the caller.
The awareness campaign ‘Help us Help you’ outlines five ways in which the public can help the ambulance service provide fast and efficient service.
In case of emergencies public is requested to call 999 as soon as possible, provide the exact location so that the ambulance can find quicker, answer all questions asked about the situation and patient, follow instructions given by the emergency service until the ambulance arrives. Motorists should give way to the ambulance even if the red light is on at a signal.
“Help us help you, every member of the public can easily follow the instructions and benefit from the service,” said Abdulla.
“We need people to have the habit of calling 999 for any emergency immediately. When they call it’s very important to give us the exact location and answer questions, because it will help us reach them soon and decide what type of a service is needed,” he added.
Callers are requested to provide the ambulance service with accurate location details with the use of landmarks and road names. They are asked to answer all questions as it will help authorities decide what type of medical team should be sent as the ambulance service has different vehicles such as bikes, SUVs, regular ambulance, and some with heavy medical equipment.
The caller could also help the ambulance service reach early by waiting on road to signal the driver, clearing the driveway of cars for the ambulance and follow instructions given by the ambulance team. “It is very important that the caller follows any instructions as this could help save a life,” said Abdulla.
In case of emergency if the patient happens to call the ambulance service, and is unable to communicate further, he could be located through the support of the technology available with the Ministry of Interior. However, that option is applicable only in unavoidable circumstances.
When an ambulance is on its way to an accident site, it will flash lights and blow sirens to indicate it is an emergency. “Giving away to an ambulance is very vital. Each second can save a life. Even if you are at a signal, move and give way to the ambulance” said Abdulla.
“People are more cooperative in Qatar, they always clear the way for an ambulance,” he said.
If a motorist gives way to an ambulance at a signal and is fined, he or she can go to the ambulance service and obtain a report to avoid the fine, Abdulla said.
A fleet of over 100 ambulances is available in Qatar and around 50 are on daily operations. They are located at six selected hubs in the country.