Demand for ambulance service soars

Saturday, July 16, 2011
Issue 1359, Page 3
Word count: 367
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Fire Services Bureau has recruited 150 more officers in response to the increasing workload particularly the demand for ambulances.

The bureau yesterday announced the number of operations it had conducted between January 1 and June 30 this year at the Sai Van headquarters.

The statistics showed that Macau’s fire brigade was required for 17,455 calls, an increase of 1,542 or 8.8 percent when compared to the same period of 2010.

A majority of which numbered 16,838, that required the use of ambulances, a surge of 2,463 or 14.6 percent over the first half of last year.

The bureau said they had no details on hand regarding abuse of the ambulance service but added that they had been promoting the correct usage of the service with a publicity campaign in the community since 2009.

In face of the rising demand, the bureau recently added three new ambulances to the fleet, taking the total number to about 27.

In addition, the fire brigade was called out to 542 fire emergencies during the reporting period, a “steady” number when compared to 545 call outs in the first six months of 2010.

The bureau said the number of fire emergencies at home had not seen a “notable increase”, largely thanks to the “cooperation of residents”.

Furthermore, the fire department was involved in a total of 449 rescue operations in the first half of this year.

The bureau said they expected that their workload would continue to increase in the near future, and 150 fire fighters were hired so far this year to add to the current crew comprised of nearly 1,000 officers.

Of those, 30 had assumed office whilst the other 120 are still undergoing training.

On the other hand, the fire department announced that after discussions with the Health Bureau, it has been decided that voluntary nuclear radiation detection measures for passengers and flight crew on planes flying from Japan will be suspended starting Monday July 18.

The fire bureau said no one was found to have exceeded the limit since the arrangement was implemented and in recent months.

The health authority also deemed that there was “no notable sign” suggesting that the nuclear crisis in Japan would deteriorate.

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