The Gauteng health department has unveiled 220 new ambulances as part of the festive season readiness launch amid the rising cases of Covid-19 as the country battles a fourth wave.
According to the department, the ambulances will be deployed across the province during the festive period, a time which is marked by a high demand for emergency medical services. The new fleet will also be used to respond to the Covid-19 fourth wave.
The new fleet is made up of ambulances in various categories including 200 Intermediate Life Support (ILS) and 20 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ambulances.
“The recapitalisation of EMS fleet has been extended until 2023, this is line with the ever-growing population of Gauteng, and will enable Gauteng EMS to adequately respond emergencies,” said the department in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Gauteng EMS on average receives 47,916 and 47,657 annual calls for November and December respectively. The majority of the cases received during this period are for motor vehicle accidents, assaults, and gunshot wounds.
“The new EMS fleet will ensure that districts are better resourced as part of ongoing efforts to improve overall service delivery, increase operational efficiencies, streamlining of services and creating a seamless emergency medical service in Gauteng.”
The department also recruited over 160 EMS personnel in various categories including basic life support, intermediate life support, and advanced life support.
The new recruits have been spread across the Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg health districts.
Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi called on the public to work closely with EMS and stop the attacks on ambulances and its staff.
She further called on travellers to observe road rules as they travel during the festive season.
“As we enter the festive period we call on our people to be careful on the roads. Not to drink and drive and take breaks if travelling long distances. We are still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we urge the public to continue adhering to the non-pharmaceutical measures.”