In a testament to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Ambulance Service’s (AS) commitment to providing high quality emergency medical response, an emergency medical dispatcher, Nasser Al Yazeedi, won the Dispatcher of the Year Award from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) during the three-day Middle East Navigator Conference recently held in Doha.
The Dispatcher of the Year Award was created by the US-based IAED to identify and recognize individuals who, through personal action, have made the most significant contributions to further the values and mission of the IAED, which aim to ensure that citizens in need of emergency, health and social services are matched safely, quickly and effectively with the most appropriate resource.
“We are very proud of Mr. Al Yazeedi for being awarded the Dispatcher of the Year Award. This is a big honor for the Ambulance Service and for HMC,” said Mr. Brendon Morris, Chief Operating Officer of the Ambulance Service, who introduced the award winner.
As an emergency medical dispatcher, Al Yazeedi is trained to work quickly and calmly in a structured way to take essential details about the patient’s condition and exact location, dispatch and support Ambulance Service resources responding to the emergency call, and provide assistance and instructions by phone to the caller prior to the arrival of the ambulance at the scene of the medical emergency.
“The work that emergency medical dispatchers do in the control room is so important because it’s the initial minutes when people make an emergency call that help save a life. There are other things that we do to help with survival and with providing a good quality emergency response and clinical care, but unlike the work of paramedics and the Emergency Department, the work of the dispatcher often remains in the background,” said Mr. Morris.
Mr. Morris added that the Ambulance Service is working towards becoming an IAED-Accredited Center of Excellence. Accreditation means an emergency dispatch center or public safety agency provides superior, up-to-date public care and is able to utilize resources efficiently to achieve maximum results in emergency situations.
HMC is a key partner in the conference, which has been organized by the IAED as a premier educational venue for professionals working in public safety and emergency response. The conference gave the Ambulance Service an opportunity to showcase its innovative and life-saving activities to local and international participants through site visits to the control center and the AS LifeFlight Service (the emergency medical helicopter service that serves the outlying areas of Doha and other parts of the country that are very far from hospitals).
Ambulance Service Highlights ‘Help Us Help You’ Campaign
The conference was also an important venue for making the “Help Us Help You: Know the 5 to Save a Life” public awareness campaign understood. Mr. Rashid Andaila, Public Relations Manager at the Ambulance Service, talked about the campaign in his presentation “Getting the public ready for 999 (the emergency call number in Qatar)”.
“In an emergency call, people sometimes panic when the call-taker asks many questions. They shouldn’t panic because the ambulance is already on the way; we ask these questions so that we can give them further instructions over the phone that could help save the life of the patient. It also helps us to ensure that we’re sending the right aid to the right patient, in the right way and at the right time,” said Mr. Andaila.
Mr. Andaila explained the five simple steps that will help the Ambulance Service provide the best possible response to every incident: “1) Dial 999 immediately, 2) Know your location, 3) Answer all questions, 4) Follow all instructions, and 5) Give way to ambulances. Remember, an ambulance stuck behind you in traffic may be going to your home or your neighbor’s home.”
During the second day of the conference, Mr. Brendon Morris delivered a presentation highlighting the patient’s journey within the Ambulance Service, from when they first phone for an ambulance, all the way through to their treatment and discharge. “This helps the AS in quality assurance; it helps us to ensure that the patient’s experience and the care that the patient gets is the best and safest care that we can provide.”
Mr. Thomas Reimann, Communications Director at the Ambulance Service discussed a software tool known as Computer Aided Dispatch which is used to support dispatchers in ensuring timely and effective emergency response for day-to-day incidents, as well as during major incidents such as mass casualty incidents that can overwhelm the resources of emergency medical services.