3-wheel ambulances for sports events
ON-THE-SPOT AMBULANCE response will now be available for events held at the National Stadium and Kensington Oval.
Government has stationed one three-wheel ambulance at each of these venues to ensure that if a player or spectator is injured, these small manoeuvrable vehicles would quickly go to where the person is and transport them to the medical centres established at these facilities.
There, the individual would receive immediate medical care and if the person needs more critical attention, he would be stabilised and sent to hospital by conventional ambulance.
The intention, said Tennyson Springer, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, was to ensure quick response in the event of any on-field incident or emergency otherwise at either venue.
The motorcycle-type ambulances had also been deployed at the Psychiatric Hospital, Geriatric Hospital and St Philip District Hospital, and one was also going to the Barbados Defence Force.
“What we have tried to do is to place them at places where there could be mass casualty events or at large venues where medical centres have been set up, so that players or spectators at these events who are on the farther side away from the centre can be transported,” said Springer.
“We have [also] identified those places where we have large residential populations.”
His disclosure yesterday was the first indication of how Government intends to utilise the 13 ambulances donated by the United Arab Emirates in January.
The donation was facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and came after a similar donation to Antigua and Grenada last September. Antigua also received 13 and Grenada ten.
The donors sent two technicians to assist with the assembly and training of local maintenance technicians for the motorcycle ambulances, which have the capacity to carry one operator in the front and an attendant and patient (on a stretcher) in the back.
The mini ambulances, which are built on a chassis towed by a 250cc engine, carry basic medical equipment and are intended for emergency situations.
Springer said the Barbados Ambulance Service was not geared for the three-wheelers, but Government was placing them where they would be most helpful and would complement the mainstream fleet.
“One of the challenges is that these are not cars and therefore you need to have the appropriate licence to take them on to the street.
“So we have not put any on the road to date, but . . . if for some reason there was a mass casualty somewhere and we needed them, we could pull them in,” he added.
He however could not say if any of the ambulances would be deployed during Crop Over, explaining that discussions were still ongoing with the Ministry of Transport and Works on their use on the roads.
At the time when the vehicles were given to Antigua, one of the uses suggested was their deployment at certain points during carnival, Sailing Week or any major event at their stadium as “the bikes will be ideal to navigate large gatherings without putting patients in jeopardy due to delayed first aid because the emergency personnel can’t get the larger ambulances to the injured person”.