Our rapid response units use a rapid response car (a ‘normal’ car that looks like an ambulance) from which first aid can be provided but which cannot transport a patient. In 2017, the Medical Service Officers (OvDGs*) from Alphen and Gouda worked with rapid response units on their own when regular ambulance services looked to be insufficient. The rapid response cars were provisioned with extra medical equipment for this purpose so that the Medical Service Officers, in their role as paramedics, were working with familiar tools.
The Medical Service Officers enthusiastically participated in the trial, and experiences were positive on all sides: the patient received care more quickly, the emergency dispatch centre had more resources available, while the regular ambulance could continue on its way to the scene of the emergency. The rapid response units make a difference by starting treatment as soon as possible while the ambulance is still on its way. In 2018, we will increase deployment of rapid response units.
* Medical Service Officers or OVDGs are experienced paramedics who are deployed in major incidents and disasters to coordinate ambulance services.