New humanitarian initiatives

" The emergency service has rescued over 10 million victims of emergencies."

2021 was a historic year as the Punjab Emergency Service Amendment Act 2021 was promulgated to provide a long-awaited service structure to employees of the Service. The emergency service has been given the status of an administrative department and the Director General has been empowered with the powers of the Secretary of the department to ensure smooth functioning of the emergency services. 258 new emergency ambulances after 2015, the expansion of emergency services to all remaining 86 Tehsils of Punjab with new stations, ambulances and staff and expansion of the Motorbike Rescue Service with 1350 motorbikes to remaining 27 districts of Punjab for providing emergency care at doorstep with 50 Rescue motorbikes per district have been approved. Now, the distribution of ambulances and the inauguration of the service in remaining tehsils is underway. Keeping in view the expansion and maintaining the standards of the lifesaving service, a Rescue 1122 Mobile Application has also been launched to improve emergency response. This app would definitely be helpful as callers in emergency would have direct access to rescuers available closest to their area.
The project of Rescue Cadet Corps (RCC) was approved to make the youth socially responsible and to have a first aider in every home. Another project for the establishment of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) at the Union Council level to assist the Service in management of emergencies and safety promotion was approved. Both projects are related to training and engaging youth/volunteers to promote a culture of safety in their respective communities.
It is also a great honour for Pakistan that the Search and Rescue Team of Emergency Services Academy has become the first United Nations INSARAG Certified Team in South Asia. Now the Government of the Punjab is in process to start the Air Rescue Ambulance for emergency response in far-flung areas with ten gyrocopter ambulances for the first time in South Asia.
Another historic initiative of last year was the Community Safety Act 2021, to ensure community safety measures in buildings, health and fitness centres. Under the Act, an occupied floor is more than 50 feet above its lowest level and health club services or facilities must ensure safety provisions to keep the building functional. The District Emergency Officers of the Punjab Emergency Service shall ensure inspection of buildings, the issuance of safety measure certificates or seal the building in case of safety violations in their respective districts. Furthermore, an appeal against any order passed under this act shall lie with the Director General within 30 days whose decision shall be final.
Indeed, the leading emergency service of South Asia, Rescue 1122, is an integrated system of emergency ambulance, fire and rescue, a disaster emergency response force and community emergency response teams. The emergency service has rescued over 10 million victims of emergencies, saved losses worth over Rs530 billion by timely emergency response and professional fire-fighting in over 17,7000 fire incidents, the Motorbike Ambulance Service provided rescue to over 917,000 emergencies with an average response time of 4 minutes and provided Patient Transfer Services to over 1 million and 20,000 critical patients for advance healthcare facilities across Punjab.
Rescue Service, as the first response agency to all emergencies, also took emergency steps to meet the COVID-19 challenge. Resultantly, over 22,900 suspected corona patients were shifted to hospitals, quarantine and isolation centres, dignified burials were given to over 4291 corona deceased, the service established the expo-triage centre and facilitated 16,900 patients, the disinfection of 115,993 public places, the deployment of rescue paramedics in corona wards at different hospitals and the distribution of 50,000 ration packs to deserving families among other steps.
The Emergency Services Academy, established in Lahore, is training the emergency services of all provinces of Pakistan and hosts the first United Nations INSARAG Certified Search and Rescue Team in South Asia. The Academy has so far provided technical assistance to other provinces of Pakistan and trained over 21,000 emergency personnel across Pakistan.
The journey to serve humanity still continues. May Allah give strength to all of us to maintain the standard of Service and serve humanity with the same passion and achieve more international achievements.

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