A TOTAL of 32 additional emergency services stations will be built across Qatar with 22 for the Al Khor community, a senior official told Gulf Times yesterday.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) assistant executive director Malcom Perry said that the new stations would be part of the expansion plan. “EMS has just submitted operational plan to Hamad Medical Corporation in a bid to increase stations throughout the country and HMC is now working with the planning and development authorities to obtain lands for the stations,” he said.
A regional headquarters to solely serve the northern part of the country, with up to 200 staff members, will open in Al Khor in the coming week to join the EMS present workforce of 715.
He said the recently commissioned two new stations at Gharaffa and Rayyan bring the total of service stations to 38.
“Between these 38 stations, we have a total of 45 ambulances presently but soon an additional 30 purpose-built vehicles will join the fleet. We have continuous plan for rapid responses in different areas throughout the country,” he said.
To whether the expansion is extended to the helicopter services, he said: “Our role is to provide paramedical staff and equipment for the running of the helicopter for the National Health Authority, which is the body responsible for the project in the country.”
“EMS joined the helicopter services on October 12 last year to run it for six months, which has just ended but because of the success recorded, we hope to continue with the running, but the expansion plan will have to be done by the NHA,” he added.
Perry also said that the department is planning to move into a national command centre (NCC) to operate the new national communications network, which will be a joint venture between emergency services and the Ministry of Interior
“The NCC is a state-of-the-art technology in regards to national communication and control, which was developed for the Asian games and now we want to start a re-programming and re-use for a nationwide operations.”
The communication control will give EMS staff the ability to communicate throughout the country as well as to track ambulances and locate the site of any incidence or accident via an automatic vehicle location mapping system.
“We will soon introduce computer-based mobile data terminals inside the ambulances that will give the ambulance crew and paramedics the location on a mapping system to find the scene of any accident,” he said.
Perry reiterated that the primary duty of EMS is to provide extensive emergency care and develop quality service based on benchmarks set by the American EMS system, which sets levels of service and care from basic up to advanced level.
“Our staff is eligible to seek the US’s partner transport national registration, which is very achievable and we are working in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) that helps us develop the service,” he said.
Perry added that the relationship with Pittsburgh has been ongoing for the past five years and three years ago a formal contract agreement was signed by HMC and UPMC to help develop the emergency services in the country.
“The project is being going on pretty well and for EMS side of it, we’ve developed a new clinical practice, which means all our treatment and procedures are based on international evidence and support by Pittsburgh and our medical director is from Pittsburgh, who is helping to develop more clinical procedures.”
He added that EMS also have links with the university in securing admissions for Qatari paramedics seeking to go into paramedical science studies in order to increase their clinical knowledge level, adding they could go into post graduate studies in management or education in ambulance as well.
“We have the ability to send our staff to Pittsburgh and there are two HMC’s employees presently studying in the university and an additional five graduates from the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar are also looking towards studying there,” he added.
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