Ambulances services on Grand Cayman are back to normal after two new ambulances hit the road this week.
The arrival of the two latest vehicles puts to an end an ambulance shortage that forced health administrators to use old and unreliable vehicles to respond to emergency calls.
The two new vehicles arrived here last week; roughly six weeks after health administrators received another new, smaller ambulance.
Speaking last week, Emergency Medical Services Manager Stephen Duval said he was thrilled at the two latest additions to the fleet.
‘They drive extremely well. They fit well. Everybody is really excited about the new vehicles; it’s been a long time coming,’ he said.
The latest additions – valued at roughly US$118,000 each – means there will now be a new ambulance stationed in George Town, North Side and West Bay.
A forth vehicle, which is within international ambulance lifespan guidelines, will be rotated throughout the districts, while an older vehicle will be used for non-emergency trips.
Mr. Duval said the two Type-3 Chevrolet ambulances will give health administrators plenty of options.
‘Because we work on a small island, we need a vehicle that is multi-functional; one that can handle mass casualty incidents; disaster response; trauma; cardiac arrests and transports,’ Mr. Duval explained. These latest vehicles can do that, he stated.
The ambulances have had a number of add-ons that Mr. Duval said will benefit both patients and his ambulance crews.
There is an LED lighting system; new safety features such as safety harnesses for patient care providers and a camera system to help drivers reverse in the large vehicles.
Mr. Duval said it is a huge relief to finally have a full fleet of reliable ambulances back on the road.
‘A big part of our service is reliability. These vehicles will service us extremely well.’
He paid tribute to his emergency response crews, who he said had had improvised to make the best of a difficult situation.
‘They have really stepped up to the plate. These vehicles are not only well deserved for the people, but the staff that will be using them.’
The 10 month delay in getting new vehicles has been blamed on funding delays within the Ministry of Health.
‘They have really stepped up to the plate. These vehicles are not only well deserved for the people, but the staff that will be using them.’ – Emergency Medical Services Manager Stephen Duval.