By LULU MARK
WHEN there is a motor vehicle accident, people should not try to remove the casualties from the scene after calling the ambulance, St John Ambulance chief executive Matt Cannon says.
He said attempting to pull an injured person out of a wreck would cause more severe or even life-threatening injuries.
Emergency health workers and firefighters, he said, were trained to attend to such situations and should be contacted where possible as soon as possible.
Cannon said there was an incident outside Port Moresby along the road to Sogeri where two of the casualties were transported out by a private vehicle prior to the arrival of the ambulance.
“This should not have happened because it is not safe,” he said.
“When you have called the ambulance, wait at the scene because the ambulance will arrive.
“Our ambulance are dispatched as soon as an emergency call is received.
Cannon said a professional ambulance service was more than just a transport vehicle as it brought essential life-sustaining medical care to the casualty in emergency; it was an extension of the emergency room.
“St John operates a state-of-the-art, 24/7 communication centre with experienced and trained telephonists, call-takers, dispatchers, nurses and on-call specialist doctors,” Cannon said.
He urged people during this festive season to be careful when on the road and call 111 for an ambulance in any emergencies if you are in the National Capital District, Central and Kokopo.
Cannon said the ambulance officers were also able to assist in emergencies over the phone in areas where St John was not established.
He said that St John was expanding into other provinces, such as Chimbu and Morobe but with no funding work could be stalled (nothing was allocated to it in the 2021 budget and also K2 million of the K3 million allocated to it this year was not released).
Cannon said in PNG where the rural healthcare was weak, ambulances played a critical role in referrals to the advanced provincial hospitals which St John acknowledged and was working towards improving but a consistent funding support from the Government yearly was needed.
By LULU MARK