Ten modern ambulances will supply the emergency ambulance fleet of the capital. On Tuesday, the crews will start working in new ambulances, which will be delivered to stations in districts near Warsaw and to rescuers from Praga Północ, Praga Południe, Ursynów and Wola. Three of them are vehicles intended for specialist teams, the others have a basic profile.
The ceremony of handing over the new ambulances took place on Tuesday morning in the emergency department of the capital at Woronicza Street. – We are putting into service ten new ambulances. It would not be possible without the support of the self-government of the Masovian Voivodeship, because they were entirely financed from a subsidy granted from the funds at the disposal of the voivodeship self-government – said Karol Bielski, director of the “Meditrans” Provincial Emergency Station and Sanitary Transport in Warsaw. – Thanks to this, we can pursue other goals and tasks. Thanks to this, we can maintain a correspondingly higher level of remuneration, not transferring these funds to investments, and being able to transfer them also to higher rates of remuneration, which at the moment I think are insufficient to compensate for the hardships of paramedics’ work – he said.
The purchase of ten new ambulances cost PLN 5.6 million. The funds for this purpose come from the project of the self-government of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, consisting in equipping Mazovian hospitals to fight COVID-19. Its total value is PLN 360 million, of which over PLN 314 million comes from EU subsidies. – We are in a difficult time. Another pandemic wave is ahead of us. We are sure that this equipment will be used primarily by the inhabitants of the neighboring poviats near Warsaw. This is equipment that will serve our residents and guarantee safety – said Elżbieta Lanc, a member of the board of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship.
Three specialist ambulances, the rest for the core teams
The three new ambulances are designed for specialist teams with three-man crews and a doctor. They will be operated by rescuers from Otwock, Sulejówek and Wołomin. The remaining seven ambulances have basic equipment and they will be delivered to the capital branches of “Meditrans” in Praga Północ, Praga Południe, Ursynów and Wola, as well as at stations in Raszyn, Pruszków and Tłuszcz.
In the announcement of the Warsaw emergency service, we read that the new ambulances are “C” vehicles built on the chassis of a Volkswagen Crafter. They are larger than the older type ambulances, which is to increase the comfort of paramedics’ work and provide more comfortable conditions for transporting patients. Each of the new vehicles includes: a transport stretcher, a transporter, a self-propelled cardiac chair, a transport respirator, a device for mechanical chest compression, an orthopedic board and a defibrillator. Their functionality is comparable to “small hospitals on wheels”.
Additionally, they are equipped with equipment enabling teletransmission of medical data. – This means that the patient will be consulted by cardiologists remotely. Our experience shows that the patient’s treatment time is reduced to an hour. For example, a patient with a heart attack will not have to be transported first to a hospital emergency ward, and then to a hemodynamics ward, but will immediately be in the hands of specialists. We focus on quick diagnostics, because this is what modern medical rescue in the richest countries in the world looks like – explains the spokesman of “Meditrans” Piotr Owczarski, quoted in the release.
This is another such delivery of equipment for the Warsaw emergency service. In the peak of the second and third waves of the pandemic, 29 new ambulances were delivered. Currently, the operational area of ”Meditrans” is secured by 80 medical rescue teams, so almost half of the fleet consists of vehicles less than a year and a half. Old ambulances, in turn, receive a “second life”. In June, several of the vehicles withdrawn from the fleet were sent to Masovian hospitals and the fire brigade.
Modern vehicles and equipment will only save lives if qualified paramedics work on board. And they are protesting against low wages and poor working conditions. Some submit terminations, others go on sick leave. Just now they warn that in September there may be a situation in which ambulances will not go to patientsbecause there will be no one to be on duty there.
Rescuers from Warsaw also joined the protest action taking place all over the country. – There will be paralysis because 300 employees signed requests to raise the rate within three days. This shows the scale. How many people will not be there in mid-September or from mid-September? We do not know this – said in an interview with TVN24 the Warsaw paramedic, Michał Fedorowicz.
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP