With a response record of over 130,000 ambulance calls last year, Critical Care Paramedics (CCPs) working with Hamad Medical Corporation Ambulance Service (HMCAS) not only need to have a passion for their work, but are also required to administer the best care possible within a critical time frame. For Sunil Ramsumar, it was a combination of the satisfaction he got from helping the community and wanting to be involved in the delivery of emergency care that drove him into becoming a CCP.
The main duties of a CCP are to provide a very high level of critical care before a patient arrives at a hospital. They are able to perform advanced life-saving techniques and administer potentially life-saving medications, normally only available on arrival at a hospital emergency department. According to Sunil, it is important for a CCP to be compassionate, self-motivated and have the ability to swiftly troubleshoot complex situations, while remaining calm and in control.
Having worked as a CCP with HMCAS for two years, Sunil’s day starts at 4am, as his work shift begins at 5.30am. He and his assistant are then allocated a response vehicle, which contains highly specialized advanced life support equipment. Once the vehicle has been thoroughly checked, the high-tech communications centre allocates a geographical standby point, so they can respond as quickly as possible to emergencies. When a call comes through, they respond immediately and administer the best possible care. After administering care and transporting the patient to the appropriate hospital, they are ready to tackle the next call.
A CCP’s job requires him to be responsible and accountable for making complex and life-saving decisions while ensuring he is delivering the highest quality of clinical care. But while CCP’s are clinically trained, they also often rely on cooperation from the general public to do their job. A major challenge faced by paramedics is that sometimes other vehicles do not make space for ambulances to pass through the traffic easily. This can cause a delay in getting to the scene of a medical emergency to help someone whose life could be at risk.
The general public can find out more about the CCPs and all other aspects of the Ambulance Service at a fun day being held at Aspire Park this weekend, on 15 March from 10am until 5pm. Visitors will be able to speak to the paramedics, have a closer look at the emergency response vehicles, including the new
Lifeflight helicopter and take part in fun activities. The aim of the fun day is to spread awareness among the public to know what to do in an emergency. It is also part of an ongoing campaign, ‘Know the five to save a life’ which consists of five simple ways in which the public can help when there is a medical emergency.
- Dial 999
- Know your location
- Answer all questions
- Follow all instructions
- Give way to ambulances