LAHORE - In order to provide the more effective emergency services and enhance the emergency response in congested areas of the major cities of Punjab, the Government of Punjab launched the Motorbike Ambulance Service (MAS) from the provincial capital Lahore in 2017. This Motorbike Ambulance Service was started from Lahore as test run from Lahore with 300 motorbike ambulances to improve the healthcare facilities in the country under the flagship of Punjab Emergency Service (PES), which is commonly known as Rescue 1122. The aim to start this service was to provide an effective and timely emergency services in congested areas of the city, particularly to respond the emergencies in narrow streets, small roads or poorly accessed localities as well as to deal such emergencies at peak hours of the busiest roads of the city where a four-wheeler ambulance can’t access easily. 

Later on, the motorbike ambulance project was gradually extended with in all remaining eight divisions of Punjab including Rawalpindi, Multan, Sahiwal, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, DG Khan and Sargodha with 600 motorbikes ambulances and emergency medical technicians after successful experiences in the city of Lahore. 

The idea of premier model of Motorbike Ambulance Service was derived from the UK, Turkey and Japan models. 

The task of timely execution of Motorbike Ambulance Service was consigned to meritorious DG Rescue Punjab Dr Rizwan Naseer (SI) for implementation of this project.  In this regard, approximately budget worth of Rs 842 million was allocated to launch this service in all nine divisional Headquarters of Punjab Emergency Service. 

The Motorbike Ambulance Service a brainchild of the Government of the Punjab has been achieved with a remarkable success by saving 65 percent expenditures of absolute cost of the project.  All these motorbike ambulances were locally designed as pattern of ambulance owing to the international standards under the supervision of British and Turkish health and emergency experts. These motorcycle ambulances equipped with all necessary medical gadgets including Trauma/airways kits, pulse oximeter, blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, glucometer, splints, cervical collar, portable oxygen cylinder has been provided to ensure effective service delivery and improved emergency response in congested areas especially during peak hours.

It is pertinent to mention here, professional knowledge, training and professional skills are considered the key factors of success of any organization, whereas training is cogitated as backbone and success of its operations. 

After recruiting 900 paramedic purely on merit through a transparent method via third party were trained in the Emergency Services Academy for period of six months in purpose built training centre with simulators for training in life saving skills. The training was imparted to the paramedics in accordance with best international practices to enhance the capacity of the employees and trained on specially courses includes on the medical first responder (MFR), collapsed structure search & rescue (CSSR), training for instructors (TFI) and community action for disaster response (CADRE).

The Motorbike Ambulance Service project has been replicated in all nine divisional headquarters in 55 percent of total budget which is self-explanatory of its transparency and merit. As the project was launched keeping in view the growing the growing traffic problems and congestion on the roads. The MAS has proved its success through performance and rapidly responded to access the inaccessible areas of the cities in all kinds of emergencies. Keeping in view, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has given approval for extension of Motorbike Ambulance Service in remaining 27 districts of Punjab. 

Moreover, the data revealed that out of all emergencies were dealt in all nine division of Punjab in which 65 percent emergencies were responded by the Motorbike Ambulance Service which are saving a huge amount of expenditure in form of POL.  The MAS has notably reduced the burden of ambulances while provided emergency first aid at the incident site by professionally trained MAS staff, therefore no ambulance or shifting were required to hospitals, thus leading to significant cost saving and burden of hospitals. 

This Service has so far efficiently responded to all kind of emergencies in all nine divisions with a record response time of 4 minutes in congested areas and narrow streets.

At present, the dream based on Turkish Model has come true as Motorbike Ambulance Service has managed 600,000 emergencies while maintaining an average record response time of four minutes in last three years in all nine divisions of the Punjab since 2017. Besides that MAS has also responded other emergencies include road traffic crashes, medical, fall or slipping, occupational, electric shock, burn, delivery & animal rescue, cases of drowning, crime, fire cases, incidents of building collapse and other miscellaneous emergencies. 

On this historic eve, the Founder Director General of Punjab Emergency Service, Dr Rizwan Naseer has paid rich tributes and shared his warmest greetings to the officers, official and dedicated staff of Motorbike Ambulance Service on successful completion of its three years.  I also pay homage to all rescuers on the eve of its 3rd anniversary who leave no stone unturned to achieve another milestone in continue success history of this prestigious service. I hope that may Almighty Allah give them more courage and enthusiasm to serve helpless victims of emergencies without any discrimination of race, colour and greed. Ameen   

The writer is a PR practitioner at Punjab Emergency Service (Rescue 1122), Headquarters, Lahore. He tweets at @karamatali88.