Health & Safety

HMC Boosts Emergency Surveillance Capability Using ‘Drones’

The Ambulance Service of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has begun using drones to enhance its surveillance capability of incident scenes.

The drones help the Ambulance Service teams undertake a thorough assessment of the surrounding areas, providing the information needed to ensure that the very best medical response can be delivered.

The drones were used for the first time at the end of September last year during the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha and are now being used on an as-needed basis.

HMC drones

According to Thomas Reimann, Executive Director of Healthcare Coordination and Support Services at the HMC Ambulance Service, the introduction of the drones is another step forward for the Ambulance Service and further enhances their ability to provide high-quality emergency services to Qatar’s population.

The drones provide a detailed overview of a complex scene to help us better understand a wide range of elements, including the number of causalities involved, what hazards are on site, the exact location of ambulance units, and access and egress routes.’

The drones are controlled by Ambulance Service staff close to the incident scene. However, the drones can fly long distances from the operator by pre-programming a determined flight path.

Rashid Andaila, Senior Manager of Communication Technologies at the HMC Ambulance Service, explained that the drones have already proved a valuable addition to the service.

We are still in the early stages of using the drones, but it is already clear that our ability to fully assess incident scenes is being enhanced. The most common utilisation of the drones so far has been tethering the drones one hundred metres directly above the scene, enabling a birds-eye view of the incident.’

Andaila added that the images can be viewed locally through a bespoke viewing case or streamed to the Mobile Command and Control vehicle, or at any predefined HMC computer. He said that the drones also improve their ability to assess incident scenes in difficult to reach areas, such as the Sealine area.

Through rapid assessment of the scene via the drone, we can quickly and accurately determine which response units are best suited to the situation.’

For updates and more information about the emergency services of HMC, visit hamad.qa

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