Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) air ambulance service, LifeFlight, that celebrated its 10-year anniversary recently, responds to more than 2,000 emergencies a year,
“Since launching in 2007, our LifeFlight Service has grown exponentially and today responds to more than 2,000 emergencies a year, providing a vital service for the people of Qatar,’’ said Dr Robert Owen, chief executive officer of HMC’s Ambulance Service.
“For most emergency cases, our ambulances and other road-based vehicles are the best method of transport for getting our teams to the scene. However, when speed is the highest priority, or when patients need emergency care in the more remote areas of Qatar, the LifeFlight Service is called into action,’’ explained Dr Owen.
The LifeFlight Service was launched as part of a six-month pilot project. It was such a success that the service was rolled out permanently. In LifeFlight’s early years, the service was operational only during daylight hours, but in 2011 the hours of operation were expanded, and presently the service responds to emergencies 24 hours a day.
In September 2013, the Ambulance Service introduced three new, highly-advanced helicopters to its LifeFlight fleet; the Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters are flown by highly trained pilots from the Qatar Emiri Air Force. “Each of the new helicopters can carry two patients, two medical crew, and two pilots, and is equipped with the latest advanced life support medical equipment,’’ noted Ali Darwish, assistant executive director of the Ambulance Service.
“We have a strong partnership with the Qatar Emiri Air Force which enables us to operate an efficient and effective LifeFlight Service. On behalf of the Ambulance Service I would like to extend my thanks to the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s leadership and to the high-skilled pilots who work hand-in-hand with our medical teams to deliver the very best care to our patients,’’ Darwish added.
The LifeFlight Service received accreditation by the European Aeromedical Institute (EURAMI) in 2015 for both adult and paediatric critical care. EURAMI-accredited aeromedical services are recognised as amongst the best in the world.
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