Since being introduced in 2016, the national Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system has catered to more than 8,000 medical emergencies. These emergencies, according to the EMS Director, Dr Zulfikar Bux, have ranged from women in labour to persons suffering from heart attacks.

According to Dr Bux, the EMS system is executed by a number of trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) with basic but sufficient medical knowledge who make their way to various medical emergencies by way of ambulance. Currently, there are some three ambulances stationed at the Guyana Fire Service Stabroek base.

This is in light of the fact that the EMS service is accessed through the 912 emergency number which also doubles for fire response.

Moreover, the EMS system sees the Fire Service collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health to offer medical emergency services to members of the public who would have suffered a medical emergency in their homes or in public spaces.

The reach of the EMS thus far has been across Georgetown but, according to Dr Bux, plans are currently unfolding for this service to be extended to the East Bank of Demerara, the East Coast of Demerara, and the West Coast of Berbice.

He disclosed that approval has been granted for the training of additional EMTs to service these added areas and the acquisition of at least two more ambulances. However, the EMS Director revealed that at least 25 ambulances will have to be operational in order for the service to truly have a national reach, that is, reaching at least 80 per cent of the population.

For this to occur, he stressed the need for funding even as he expressed optimism that the relevant authorities have seen how important the service has been, in terms of helping to save lives, and will throw unwavering support behind its expansion.

According to Dr Bux, “EMS has dealt with 8,819 from since we started on November 21, 2016 to May 29, 2019 and, with plans to expand, more lives will be saved.”

It is through the EMS service that emergency cases are stabilised and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital for advanced attention. Even en route to the hospital EMTs are in telephone contact with specialist doctors who advise on the best care each case requires, even as they prepare for their arrival.



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