Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Ambulance Service is currently testing an international FM radio over-broadcast system which will allow its ambulance crews to alert surrounding drivers of their approach.
“In 2012, we ran a national campaign, ‘Help us help you’, designed to educate the public about practical ways in which they could assist the Ambulance Service,” said Mr. Ahmed Al Bakri, Operations Manager at the Ambulance Service. “One of the key messages of the campaign was to give way to ambulances on the road in order to ensure our teams are able to arrive at their destination as quickly as possible. The technology we are currently testing offers us a highly advanced way of alerting drivers that an ambulance is approaching,” Mr. Al Bakri noted.
The new system, Radiolert Mobile FM80, is an internationally used software that enables ambulance crews to send a message to cars up to 200 meters ahead. “Our ambulance lights and sirens can be seen or heard by drivers up to 50 meters away, but the Radiolert system allows us to forewarn drivers much further ahead,” stated Executive Director of the Healthcare Coordination Service, Mr. Thomas Reimann.
When activated by the ambulance driver or crew member, the system overrides the FM radio channel inside cars within the signal vicinity and relays the message ‘Warning, ambulance approaching. Give way.’
“Depending on the registered language of the FM radio channel being broadcast, the Radiolert system will play the warning message in one of four languages: Arabic, English, Hindi and Malayalam,” Mr. Reimann explained.
HMC’s Ambulance Service consistently meets or exceeds its National Health Strategy response targets. Throughout 2015, the service reached 91.8 percent of calls within Doha in under 10 minutes. This impressive performance has been achieved despite an increase in the number of calls received by the service. In recent years, the Ambulance Service has expanded the LifeFlight service, introduced a new state-of-the-art ambulance fleet and built dispatch points around the country. These steps have enabled the service to reach patients quickly, regardless of their location.