The Ambulance Service’s ability to get to the scene of an emergency faster has been boosted with the opening of a new sheltered dispatch point at Immigration Roundabout in Madinat Khalifa, Doha.

This dispatch point marks the launch of a new service model for the Ambulance Service known as ‘Hub and Spoke’ – bringing ambulances closer to where the people are so they can get to them quicker. The new sheltered dispatch points are self contained and air conditioned units where ambulances can be based during their shift. The dispatch points have a direct line through to the National Command Center, who will ensure that the ambulance sent is the one closest to the patient in need.

Under the new model, there will be multiple dispatch points or ‘Spokes’, like the one in Madinat Khalifa, around Qatar, which will work in conjunction with other existing Ambulance Service centers ‘Hubs’ across the country and strengthen its existing capabilities to deal with emergencies.

David Astley, Chief of Tertiary Care for Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said the new points will be strategically placed where statistics have shown there are the highest incidence of accidents and largest pockets of the population.

‘The Ambulance Service has been working to enhance the service they provide and ensure they are offering the best possible care to the people of Qatar,’ Astley said. ‘One of the key measures for an Ambulance Service is response times and the HMC Ambulance Service’s aim is to have response times comparable to the best services in the world. This is where the Hub and Spoke model comes in.

‘Over the last 12 months the response times for the Ambulance Service have improved by 27%, from 11 minutes to eight minutes within Doha city limits, which we are very pleased about but we always want to do more. We hope by the introduction of this service model that response times will become even better.’

In addition to the Mercedes Sprint ambulances, the Ambulance Service also operates Landcruiser Prado vehicles, which mainly provide transport for the Critical Care Paramedics to where they are needed, Landcruiser GXs for desert support and the Lifeflight helicopter service.

In order for the Ambulance Service to best help the public, they are asking you to remember these five key ways you can assist in times of an emergency:

  • Remember to dial 999 immediately in case of a medical emergency as they will not know to send help until they are called.
  • Know where you are so the ambulance can find you.
  • Answer all their questions so they know which of the highly specialized team members to send.
  • The National Command Center may ask the caller to do something at the scene such as clearing cars from the driveway or putting the patient into the recovery position; following their instructions could help save a life.
  • Finally, the Ambulance Service asks for all drivers to give way to ambulances on the road.