The National Ambulance Service (NAS) has recruited a total of 435 drivers to complement efforts of the service in ensuring effective pre-hospital emergency healthcare delivery.
The drivers, including three females, constitute the 10th batch of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) who passed out at the Paramedics and Emergency Care Training School at Nkenkaasu yesterday, after a year’s training.
They have since been sworn in under oath, after intensive training in bleeding control, positive pressure ventilation with bag valve mask, insertion of oropharyngeal and nasopharryngeal airways, supplemental oxygen administration and splinting including full spinal immobilisation besides their driving skills.
They are expected to augment the total staff strength of 2,547 that form the NAS Emergency Medical Service team.
Their services would be needed at the 296 ambulance stations across the country and help NAS effectively adopt the shift system for ambulance drivers and also meet World Health Organisation’s standard of at least three drivers per an ambulance.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, who reviewed the passing out parade, said the training and eventual passing out of the recruits is in line with the government’s aim of administering, maintaining and operating a nationwide comprehensive emergency medical services system throughout the country, aimed at reducing medical emergency deaths, injuries and permanent long-term disabilities.
He appealed to transport organisations, including the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), among other transport associations, to cooperate with the National Ambulance Service and other emergency services to gain easy access to the roads, in the course of their duties, in order to save lives.
A representative of the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, lauded the government for the provision of ambulances for all 296 stations.
He said Ashanti region received 49 ambulances for the 47 constituencies, with the extra two going to Baba Yara Sports Stadium and Kumasi Airport terminal.
The Minister pledged the Ashanti RCC’s continued support to the NAS, having already coordinated the establishment of ambulance bays by the 43 MMDAs in the region.
The acting President of the Offinso Traditional Council, Nana Kwaku Duah, commended the government for the acquisition of the 307 new ambulances for the various constituencies in the country.
The NAS Regimental Band was outdoored during the passing out parade.
Meanwhile, Ivan Nyorkey was adjudged the Overall Best Recruit. He also excelled as the Best in Academics. The best in Practicals award went to Justice Addai while Victoria Lartey Ohene grabbed the CEOs award with the Best in Foot drills award going to Osmana Iddrisu Seinu.