Seventh chapter of our Africa column in the “EMS in the World“. We got the contact with the Knight Support Tanzania LTD and we spoke with Mrs. Rhona Potgieter, General Manager of first aid responders and she kindly explained their importance and their activity on the territory.
- How many emergency vehicles you have available on scene?
” In Dar Es Salaam, where we are located, we have 4 ambulaces during the day and 3 at night. In Arusha: 2 ambulances during the day and 1 at night. In Mbeya: 1 ambulance during the day and 1 at night. Each ambulance is crewed by 1 ALS Paramedic, 1 Advanced EMT and 1 EMT Driver. All our ambulances are ALS ambulances – we use AED but don’t have ECG. We operate with ground vehicles as above also have PRU’s in Dar (1). Medivac services are provided by us utilising local aircraft (Pilatus or Caravan) for short evacuation or we utilising ISOS or AMREF for longer evacuations”.
- Which percentage of territory is covered by your EMS support and what about the remote areas?
“Ambulances cover the areas mentioned before and then we evacuate from all over Tanzania via airplane evacs – remote areas are always flown out”.
- How do you organize EMS support?
“Each ambulance is crewed by 1 ALS Paramedic, I Advanced EMT, 1 EMT Driver. For Knight Support Clients for ambulance runs – clients have three options
- Press the Knight Support ambulance button installed in their home
- Phone our 24 hour control centre
- Press the emergency button on their smart phone (Guardian APP)
The above alarm Is received by our control room who take the details and then dispatch the ambulance to them. For non Knight Support clients – people phone our control room and details are taken, control then contact myself or Tina Sutton for authorisation to dispatch an ambulance as priority it given to our clients. Non clients then sign a GOP for payment.
For medivacs – If they are a FIRST AIR RESPONDER member they (or the person with them) call the emergency number – details are taken and the case is then handed to myself, Tina or Hagila who then handled the case by arranging the necessary evacuation and care the client needs.
If not a member then we can give the person costs or refer them to AMREF or ISOS. Depending where they want to be taken Dra, Nairobi or SA.”
- As you said before, you launched a special mobile app which facilitate people asking for help in case of an emergency. Could you explain what it specifically is?
“Yes, we promote ‘The Guardian’ which is the smart phone app I mentioned before. We install the app on their smart phone (each client can have 4 smart phones with this installed on it – so parents, children, staff, drivers etc).
They can have security assistance on ambulance assistance. All they do is press the app – highlight the service (amb or sec) and press – this is then received in our control room with the phones GPS co-ordinates – we then know their exact location and dispatch assistance.”
- Do you have some project to improve your EMS service? What kind of future do you foresee for EMS field in Tanzania?
“We ensure that every 6 months our UK consultant comes and clinically audits all crew and gives more training when required. I do not see this service being stopped here – it is imperative that it continues.”