This is the first time that the Hangzhou Emergency Medical Center has hosted this prestigious competition involving top Chinese ambulance drivers.
84 candidates and 28 national teams took part in the event, which was organised by the Chinese Ministry of Health and the National Hospital Association, with the contribution of the Department of Health of the province of Zhejiang and the city of Hangzhou.
Between 16 and 18 May participants underwent a tough series of theoretical and practical trials. The Director of the Hangzhou Emergency Medical Center, Mr. Yng Xu Wen, based the selection process on very rigorous criteria:
- Emergency service experience during the 2003 Sars epidemic
- Experience of involvement in the flood rescue operation in 2008
- Involvement in the provision of inter-provincial medical assistance during the Wenchuan earthquake of 2008
- Involvement in the transportation of patients during the bird flu epidemic this year
The competition was split into 3 phases: tests of theoretical knowledge, driving skill competition, BLS interventions and vehicle-boarding operations.
In view of the issues that ambulance drivers will deal with in China, some of the tests concentrated on driving in heavy traffic. Other tests dealt with technical knowledge of the vehicle and driving safety.
Due to the complex conditions ambulances often drive in, ranging from crowded streets to residential areas with parked cars along both sides, the candidates were put to the test with similar difficulties. Bends, routes with obstacles, U-turns, reversing forlong distances and parking in small spaces. All in a limited time of 2 hours and 15 minutes, whilst maintaining vehicle stability and levels of safety for patients and co-workers.
The competition judges included representatives of the traffic control department, professional instructors from selected driving schools, experts in pre-hospital care selected from the top hospitals in the province of Zhejiang.
In order to guarantee impartiality the Hangzhou Ambulance Center did not take part in the competition.
The candidates showed great commitment and seriousness in their preparations. The winners were a team from Hebei, and the individual winner was Mr Jing Qing from Wuhan.
In addition to comparing teams’ abilities, these challenges are an opportunity for participants to learn from each other and broaden their experience and skills.
For the Hangzhou Ambulance Center the competition was an excellent pretext to engage in the organisation of a great event which the outcome shows went perfectly.