Pilot EMS service for official launch tomorrow

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The government will roll-out the pilot Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system tomorrow. Persons are being encouraged to resist prank calling the 912 emergency number.

The medical services of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) are being coupled with the discipline of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) to deliver the EMS.

National Director of Emergency Medical Services, Dr Zulfikar Bux

National Director of Emergency Medical Services, Dr Zulfikar Bux

The GFS will have five ambulances available for the EMS pilot which will cover areas from Timehri, East Bank Demerara to Enmore, East Coast of Demerara. The service will become operational on Monday, November 21.

National Medical Director of the EMS, Dr. Zulfikar Bux in an interview today, with the Government Information Agency (GINA), explained that, “Patients who have medical emergencies can call 912 and will have access within 10 to 15 minutes.”

Dr. Bux pointed out that prank calling the emergency line could prevent someone from receiving much needed medical attention. “We’re asking members of the public to also cooperate, and to ease off the prank calls because that will actually take away from being able to save another person,” Dr. Bux urged.

Ranks from the GFS have been trained to identify whether an emergency requires an ambulance. “We’re training dispatchers from the Fire Service in medical dispatch triage so what that does is help them go through protocol where they can determine when they have a call, if this person has a medical emergency or not,” Dr Bux explained.

The doctor also made a plea to road users to cooperate with the ambulances that will be responding to emergencies. “I’ve had the experience where people do not pull over or they do not respect sirens and ambulances and because of that it leads to delays in getting patients to the hospital; so we’re asking members of the public to cooperate,” D.r Bux pointed out.

The aim of the EMS is to improve the response time to medical emergencies. “The whole idea is to get the patient to the hospital in a very safe and efficient manner,” and allow emergency doctors to prepare for the arrival of these patients, Dr. Bux explained.

The Medical Director noted that the EMS is a “very lifesaving intervention” and follows international guidelines for emergency medical care. The GPHC has been working with the Vanderbilt University of the United States to develop the EMS system.  “We respond to emergency, whether it’s at somebody’s home, or in a motor vehicle accident, stabilise these patients and transport them effectively to the doctors in the emergency room, and nurses who are ready to resuscitate and deliver care,” Dr Bux explained.

The EMS is a collaborative effort between the Ministries of Public Health and Public Security. Dr Bux added that the Ministry of Public Health will be responsible for certifying and training ranks from the GFS to become Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

“Every two years they will have to be re-certified, and there will be continuous training for them and mentoring to ensure that they stay within the scope of functioning as EMTs,” Dr. Bux added.

Fourteen (14) ranks of the GFS were certified as EMTs in July.


By: Tiffny Rhodius