Ambulance drivers put on notice; special approval needed for siren and speed

Ambulances parked at Lautoka hospital. Picture: FT FILE

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong has put ambulance drivers on notice.

He said they would need to get special approval from authorities before turning on sirens and driving over the speed limit.

“If you are just transferring a patient — go slowly, follow the rules and just drive like every other driver — unless it is an emergency,” Dr Fong said.

“If you want to go at a very fast rate, you have to inform your authority to do that through a number of channels before you can actually do otherwise.

“We are working very hard on making sure that every single ambulance driver, in order to turn the siren on, they have to get special authority to do it.”

Dr Fong also said ambulance drivers were only allowed to break the speed limit in genuine emergencies.

“Ambulance drivers are advised to only drive over 120 km/ph only in emergencies and we’ve had this discussion with all the ambulance drivers and have tried to stop ambulance drivers from going over the speed limit everywhere.

“Only in real emergencies is the ambulance supposed to pick up somebody who’s already resuscitated.

“You don’t resuscitate somebody who’s really sick unless you really have to, so 80 per cent of the runs should be quite under 80 km/ph with no ambulance siren turned on.”

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