x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Paramedics take the road less travelled

Paramedics are now using electric golf carts to come to the aid of those who are feeling a little below par.

Paramedics will use electric golf carts to aid those in need.
Paramedics will use electric golf carts to aid those in need.

ABU DHABI // Paramedics are now using electric golf carts to come to the aid of those who are feeling a little below par. The unusual choice of transport is part of an initiative by the Abu Dhabi Police to find ways to reach people in distress more quickly, or who cannot easily be reached by an ambulance. Emergency response teams will also use bicycles and motorcycles to patrol parks, beaches and the desert, especially during events that draw large crowds, which can make it difficult for ambulances to reach some people.

The teams used their new carts, bicycles and motorcycles, which carry first aid equipment and are linked to a central dispatch, during National Day celebrations around the capital on Tuesday. During the festivities the Corniche and nearby feeder roads were jammed with vehicles. Emergency vehicles with flashing lights traversed the road, blasting their horns to try to get motorists to make room for them.

"We seek to provide the best and fastest services and this service was introduced, for the first time, due to the high congestion witnessed in some areas and on the Abu Dhabi Corniche road," said Lt Col Mohammed al Nuaimi, director of the emergency and public safety department. The vehicles were used in parks and sand beaches, as well as in desert areas around Al Ain, where thousands of people had gathered.

Emergency department medical staff thought up the idea themselves, he said. Tariq Asmar, 18, liked the idea, but wondered if the rescuers might get too hot in summer months since their vehicles would not have air conditioning. "It is better if the weather is good. Now it is good, but it is hard to ride a bicycle in the hot weather." @Email:mchung@thenational.ae