Ambulance Dept. receives new ambulance and hydraulic stretcher

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from left to right: Head of the ambulance Dept. Cylred Richardson, Minister of VSA Emil Lee, ambulance nurse Vincent David and ambulance driver Yves Maccow.

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Health, Social Development, and Labor Emil Lee said that the investments in the Ambulance Department are a critical part of the Country’s Emergency Response team.

The Minister mentioned this during Wednesday’s, September 7, Council of Ministers press briefing where he announced that on September 6, the Ambulance Department, commissioned their first of three new ambulances.

Minister Lee said that the other two ambulances are currently being manufactured and outfitted, and are expected to arrive within a few months.

The Minister also informed that 7 hydraulic stretchers were ordered of which the first arrived. He stated, “Many of the employees at the Ambulance Department have complained that they have problems with their back, joints, and knees while using the manual stretcher. The hydraulic stretcher, which allows the staff to push a button for assistance, solves this problem.”

Minister Lee also mentioned that the Ministry had finalized plans to digitize the run sheets for the Ambulance Department. “Currently, the administration for the Ambulance Department is a paper system, which needs to be manually entered into the administration.” he said. That process will now be automated.

Besides getting new equipment, investments have also been made in training programs for the ambulance staff, which were done with the RAV. RAV is a training service from the Netherlands (Brabant) that worked together with the ambulance staff of St. Maarten a few months ago.

“I think this goes well with the Ministry’s cooperation with different social partners for the first aid courses in the community. It’s always best if citizens, and in particular teachers, go through this type of training and know what to do and what not to do in emergency situations. All of this fits well into the Ministry’s Plan of improving the overall quality of healthcare in St. Maarten,” said Minister Lee.