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National Ambulance Successfully Performs Major Incident Response Exercise

24 Jul 2019

Abu Dhabi, 24 July 2019: National Ambulance has recently carried out a mock Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) to test its response and internal preparedness to deal with large scale emergency incidents. The test involved half of the organisation’s frontline staff and required the activation of additional levels of service and support plans, as well as increasing capacity and re-distribution of field units. It was conducted in cooperation with strategic partners in the emergency service sector and completed while maintaining core business continuity.

As part of its comprehensive response to the drill, and at very short notice, National Ambulance implemented an integrated and comprehensive response plan to deal with three separate incidents with 200 injuries on the eastern coast of Fujairah, Kalba and Khorfakan. The emergency service deployed 25 ambulances from across the Northern Emirates and 50% of its front-line staff, along with Operation Managers, Area Leads and support services to respond to the incidents. A long-term response plan was put in place to cover the next 12, 24 and 36 hours.

Commenting on National Ambulance’s organisation of the MCI drill, Ahmed Saleh Al Hajeri, CEO of National Ambulance, said: "This exercise was a real test of our readiness to provide immediate response and to measure our team’s capability in crisis management, as well as assessing the effectiveness of joint response mechanisms with our partners across the emergency service sector. Its success showed how capable our staff are, with their range of skills, at adapting to situations and finding solutions to overcome problems.”

Al Hajeri added: "It was carried out without prior notice to ensure that the preparedness and performance efficiency of our front-line staff, the Ambulance Communications Centre, Support Services and coordination mechanisms with the strategic partners were assessed under the simulated test circumstances. The success of the drill provides us with the confidence that the service we are providing is in line with the pre-emergency plan and pre-emptive measures that have been put in place and make us comfortable with the outcomes. We also made sure to conduct the exercise without compromising our service performance in the Northern Emirates.”

Al Hajeri confirmed that outcome and performance levels have been evaluated and reviewed both internally and with concerned partners, and that plans have been put in place to improve performance efficiency, internal and external coordination mechanisms, as well as overcoming challenges and obstacles by developing appropriate solutions, in line with our on-going commitment to provide the community with the best emergency pre-hospital care in alignment with the highest international standards.

During the exercise, National Ambulance coordinated with strategic partners, including: Sharjah and Fujairah Police General Directorates, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and its hospitals, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), alongside other supporting stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Operations Centre, the Ministry of Interior’s Air Wing Department at the Directorate General of Security Support and the National Search and Rescue Centre.

National Ambulance provides emergency pre-hospital care in the Northern Emirates through the dedicated 998 emergency ambulance number and NA 998 mobile application. Its primary task is to handle public medical emergency response and provide high standards of emergency pre-hospital care to citizens, residents and visitors across the Emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah.