Thanks to the Cayman Heart Fund, the Health Services Authority has added a brand-new ambulance to its fleet.
The emergency vehicle was purchased after an 18-month fundraising effort brought in $150,000, including $60,000 donated from the 2016 Deputy Governor’s 5K Challenge.
The ambulance was handed over Wednesday during a ceremony outside the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue.
Premier and Health Minister Alden McLaughlin said during this festive season it was one of the best Christmas gifts any of them could have wished for.
“It heartens me to see the generosity shown across all sectors of our society,” he said.
Cayman Heart Fund Chairman David Dinner said, “The ambulance will increase the HSA’s ability to respond to cardiovascular and other issues, and will be of benefit to the entire community.”
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said, “It makes me very proud to see the ambulance being handed over today after the tremendous effort put in by all at Cayman Heart Fund and everyone who took part in, and sponsored, the 5K Challenge.”
Health Services Autority CEO Lizzette Yearwood said that since the recent arrival of the new ambulance, EMS staff have been familiarizing themselves with its new features, which were specifically designed with staff and patients’ safety in mind.
“This new vehicle increases our capacity to respond to the needs of our community and, in turn improve our service,” she said.
She said the ambulance, a Chevrolet G-4500 TraumaHawk, has an improved workspace layout that allows EMS staff to be able to provide 360-degree patient care and to transport more than one patient at a time.
Another notable new feature of this ambulance is its portable Stryker Powerload Stretcher system.
“The Cayman Islands is one of the first countries in the region to have this system,” Ms. Yearwood said.
The Stryker Powerload Stretcher is a fully hydraulic system that eliminates the need for EMS personnel to physically lift patients into the vehicle. This significantly reduces the risk of EMS providers sustaining back injuries and provides patients with a safer mode of transfer into the vehicle, said Ms. Yearwood.
She said the EMS service employs 30 full-time emergency medical personnel and averages more than 420 calls per month, which is equivalent to over 5,000 calls per annum. “These calls for service have continued to grow over the years and we sincerely appreciate this addition to our fleet of emergency vehicles,” she said.
George Town MLA Roy McTaggart, councillor for health, said he was very much inspired by the deputy governor and his efforts to encourage everyone to not only to take personal responsibility for their health, but also to raise funds for a good cause while doing so.
“This new ambulance will be a welcome addition to the emergency fleet and when we see the vehicle on the road, we can be proud to know it was a gift from so many caring people,” Mr. McTaggart said.