Dubai: The Dubai Ambulance Service Centre attended to 526 cases, 252 of them from the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa area, on New Year’s Eve, XPRESS can reveal.
“Between 9.30pm and 4am that night, we attended to the equivalent of two full days’ cases,” said Khalifa Hassan Al Darrai, Executive Director of Dubai Ambulance.
He said the area around Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai contributed to the maximum number of cases at 252, followed by 109 at Meydan. There were 22 calls from the Atlantis The Palm and 23 from the airport area, he said, adding that 111 general calls were received from 999.
Al Darrai said of the 526 cases, 11 were critical emergencies and 17 serious in nature. They included 11 accident victims and five cardiac patients.
“The vast majority of cases were minor with problems ranging from headaches, diabetes-related symptoms and breathing difficulties to injuries like abrasions, sprains and inflammations.”
He said the night passed without any major incident and the authorities were well-equipped to cater to the unprecedented crowds in Downtown Dubai.
“We were part of a larger team of government departments and bodies who worked together and in harmony to ensure everything went smoothly.
“We pressed 68 ambulance stations with an additional 28 vehicles on duty on that night. Around 200 paramedics were on call,” he said.
At Dubai Mall, Al Darrai said a team of 17 doctors worked in partnership with Rashid Hospital and treated most cases on site in three specially designed disaster buses.
“They are like mobile clinics and can provide immediate help and treatment,” he said, adding that only 37 patients required hospitalisation.
Niel Kirby, Operations Director of Dubai Ambulance Service Centre who was in command at Burj Khalifa, said: “The sheer number of people concentrated in the area was overwhelming. But the crowd was generally well-behaved and we were well-prepared. People were patient and we didn’t see any pushing and pulling. There were minor cases, but they presented themselves to the paramedics there.”
At a Glance
Dubai Ambulance Service Centre attended to 526 calls in total on New Year’s Eve.
252 were from Dubai Mall area
109 from Meydan
111 from 999
22 from Atlantis
23 from airport area