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Two new vehicles for Gibraltar’s Ambulance Service

Pic by Johnny Bugeja

Two new vehicles will join Gibraltar’s Ambulance Service, including a new Frontline Emergency Ambulance procured by the GHA and a Rapid Response Vehicle donated by the Peter J Isola Foundation.

The two vehicles were officially unveiled outside of St Bernard’s Hospital on Monday afternoon by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, GHA Director General Professor Patrick Geoghegan, the GHA Board Chairman Professor Ian Cumming, and the family of the late Peter J Isola.

These two vehicles will significantly assist the Ambulance Service with the renewal program of its fleet, the GHA said.

“The new Renault Traffic vehicle suitable for the unique needs of Gibraltar has been converted into a modern emergency Ambulance equipped with the latest clinical and operational equipment,” the GHA said.

“This includes manual handling devices, such as the latest bariatric hydraulic striker stretcher with its own self-loading mechanism, which allows for enhanced capability to safely and more effectively convey patients.”

“The Mitsubishi Eclipse which will provide for a second Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) in the GHA’s fleet will give the Ambulance Service additional resilience.”

“Rapid Response Vehicles are specifically designed to reach the patient as soon as possible.” “RRVs are staffed by a Paramedic who is qualified to administer immediate lifesaving treatment at the scene, such as defibrillation, airway protection and drug administration.” “These vehicles are sent out to a patient ahead of an ambulance to start emergency lifesaving treatment as soon as possible.”

“This highly recognised method of delivering early clinical intervention is a significant enhancement to the response the GHA provides.”

Prof Geoghegan welcomed the introduction of the two new vehicles and told the Chronicle that the total cost for the two vehicles is valued at an estimated £100,000.

“The introduction of these two state-of-the-art vehicles is a great step forward for the GHA,” he said.

“They will ensure that our Ambulance personnel can undertake their clinical duties in the latest well equipped emergency vehicles.”

“Our staff are eager to start using the new vehicles which will ensure that patients and their relatives receive the best possible response, further enhancing the magnificent service our ambulance service provides to our community.”

For his part, Mr Picardo said: “These vehicles are a fantastic addition to the fleet.”

“In particular, the Rapid Response Vehicle will significantly enhance the already excellent response of the Ambulance Service, and on behalf of the people of Gibraltar I extend sincere thanks to the Peter J Isola Foundation for this generous donation.”

Peter Isola, Trustee of the Peter J Isola Foundation, told the Chronicle: “From the beginning of Covid we were looking at ways to donate to Gibraltar and the GHA in particular.”

“We tried to look at ventilators at the time but they proved to be impossible to source from China.”

“And then, through my nephew Mark Garcia who is involved in the hospital, he suggested another type of machine that can analyse you when you arrive in hospital so we purchased that.”

When the Peter J Isola Foundation heard that the GHA was trying to procure a new ambulance, it looked into enhancing the service with a Rapid Response Vehicle.

“We thought it would be something we would like to do so it became our way of contributing to Gibraltar and the Health Authority, which is the whole basis of the charity really,” Mr Isola added.

“We are very happy with this donation and we are concentrating on life saving equipment.”

“If the rapid response vehicle can get there quickly and save lives then that is a big plus for the foundation.”

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