Dubai medics ready for busiest night of their lives




Dubai: Medical professionals in Dubai, including doctors and nurses, will be ready for action on what they consider the busiest night of their lives — New Year’s Eve — and ensure all medical emergencies are attended to.

“It’s the busiest night for us medics because a lot of people go out and watch the fireworks. They’re expecting a huge crowd [this year],” Neil Kirby, director of Operations at the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), told Gulf News.

Kirby said 23 ambulances will be stationed at the Dubai Mall-Burj Khalifa area, including the world’s longest ambulance, that will be stationed on the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Boulevard.

The busiest spot remains the Burj Khalifa-Downtown Dubai area, Kirby said.

The world’s tallest manmade structure this year will, for the first time, have an illuminated LED show that will wrap its façade as part of a six-part fireworks display.

Around 1.7 million people viewed the Burj Khalifa fireworks and ushered in the New Year at Downtown Dubai last year. This year, authorities are expecting between 1.2 million and 1.4 million people.

Last year, cycling medics were assigned in Downtown Dubai to effectively reach emergencies in a crowded spot.

The strategy is different this year.

“Around Dubai Mall, it’s best we use medics on foot, nut they will be supported by our motorbike medics who will be on duty on the Boulevard. There will also be the sports car responder and normal ambulances,” Kirby said.

Disaster buses will be strategically placed around the Dubai Mall and other areas in the city. Each bus can accommodate around 30 patients on average.

Last year, this reporter witnessed ambulances finding it difficult exiting the Boulevard due to the massive crowds. Save for major emergencies, there will be no need to transport patients anymore, Kirby said.

The disaster buses can treat people on the scene. There will be doctors, nurses and medics working on the buses.

Besides the 75 ambulance stations that operate normally across the city, Kirby said the corporation is adding 12 additional emergency ambulances and 37 ambulances dedicated to specific activities like that in Downtown Dubai, Atlantis The Palm, and Global Village, where fireworks displays will be held.

“In addition to the 150 medics that we have on duty normally, we are going to have an additional 172 staff on duty, who are off-duty staff working additional shifts.”

DCAS responded to more than 1,300 crisis calls on New Year’s Eve in 2014, which was more than double the 2013 figure at 526.


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