Dubai: One in five ambulance responses by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) is now done in four minutes, down from the average of eight minutes.
Dubai’s ambulance services have managed to cut down their response time by half for 20 per cent of the cases they handled in 2015. The reduction in response time is part of Dubai’s vision and target for 2020.
“The average response time is still eight minutes now. But we have managed to reach the four-minute response time for 20 per cent of our cases. This is in all areas. At airports, we reach within two minutes because we have air patrol medics,” Dr Omar Al Sakaf, director of Medical and Technical Affairs Department at DCAS, told Gulf News on the sidelines of the first Dubai International Ambulance Conference.
Dr Al Sakaf said they are working on a strategy to reduce response times without necessarily having to add personnel or ambulances.
“DCAS is preparing to reach this target response time because this is the government agenda. It is a challenge but we have to achieve it. We will bring advanced technology where they can locate the calls [of patients] and everything,” Dr Al Sakaf said.
Rapid ambulance response to a medical emergency, especially for code red cases or life-threatening emergencies like a heart attack, stroke or trauma, is crucial to saving lives.
In 2014, DCAS received and responded to 145,332 calls across Dubai, 4,449 cases of which were life-threatening emergencies.
“In the future, during the Dubai Expo 2020, there will be millions of people in Dubai and the distances between hospitals will be more. We have to be ready for the challenge,” Dr Al Sakaf said.
Dr Al Sakaf said part of the city’s smart address system, Makani, has helped improve response times but a proper study is needed to actually determine this.
Meanwhile, at the Dubai International Ambulance Conference, DCAS unveiled its first Infection Control Ambulance that was acquired just three months ago.
“This ambulance is designed for patients with any infectious disease, coronavirus, and others. It has only been used once when a baby suspected to have coronavirus needed to be transported,” Dr Al Sakaf said.
Neil Kirby, operations consultant at DCAS, said the ambulance is vacuum-sealed, which eliminates any potential for cross-infection. The ambulance will be dispatched for airborne diseases and other highly infectious diseases such Ebola, H1N1, and others. The ambulance also has two systems that purify the air within it to kill pathogens and a self-sterilisation system to disinfect the unit.