- January 10, 2013
110th Anniversary of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Vilnius
On Thursday, January, 10th the emergency medical services in Vilnius celebrated the 110th anniversary.
Currently, the emergency service in Vilnius boast 30 ambulances. It employs 47 doctors, 141 first responders, 62 ambulance care assistants and 113 ambulance drivers. Tadeusz Rodz, the director of EMS in Vilnius, states: “Now an acute medical care can be provided around the clock by the advanced life support team (9 persons), basic life support team (9 persons) and four teams in reserve. We work day in, day out and never take a day off which means that one can dial 112 at any time of a day. We are always ready to provide treatment.”
All squads are equipped with a state-of-the-art kits and tools indispensible for keeping a person alive. All doctors are professionals.
“To be honest, our job is extremely difficult and involves a great sense of responsibility. The work conditions have changed beyond comparison in the last 110 years. We have really friendly and reliable staff whose members are Polish, Russian and Lithuanian. Every employee values human life. Their chief priority is to help a person regain their health. Vanda Pumputienė is a senior staff member—she has been working here for 47 years and currently holds the post of a deputy director,” Tadeusz Rosz says.
The emergency medical services’ headquarters is situated at the Justiniško Street, in the Wirszuliszki district of Vilnius. Eleven sub-quarters are scattered around the city. We have brand new computer system in our control facilities that enables us to dispatch an ambulance via a radio set.
“We do not only drive an ambulance. We also give free of charge pieces of medical advice to the callers who do not suffer from a serious disease. In 2012, we received 217,000 calls and 188,000 dispatches. Around 15,000 of those were the accidents; 85,000—chronic illnesses; and the rest—patients’ transport”, the services’ director says.
Tadeusz Rosz stresses that ambulance squad responds to every dispatch in the blink of an eye since every second counts for an ill or injured person. If a patient’s condition is too serious, an ambulance transfers him/her to a nearby hospital. A doctor does not leave a side of a patient until he signs him/her over to another physician. The ambulance drivers are also experienced and do not need to be told when the siren should be turned on. In a year, EMS receive and pass dispatches from one third of Lithuania’s territory: the Municipality District of Vilnius, Trakai, Šalčininkai, Širvintos, Ukmergės, Švenčionys, Elektrėnai. Since the beginning of a new year, EMS receive calls from the District Municipalities of Zarasai and Visaginas. Tadeusz Rosz feels proud that he has been working in emergency services for almost 19 years. He loves his job and helping others. EMS are definitely needed. They would not have celebrated their 110th anniversary otherwise!
“The job strains our body and mind. Very often we have to act as psychologists, not only as doctors. One needs to be completely devoted to giving the first aid to people,” Jolanta Dowgierd says, a senior member of the emergency services’ staff. She adds that a doctor is a professional, an artisan and…a magician. It is a vocation. You can be an extraordinary scientist, but it does not mean you are an extraordinary doctor.
“Personally, I am content with the efficiency of our EMS. I used to wait over an hour for an ambulance. For a sick person, it feels like eternity. Currently, I wait only 15 minutes. The waiting time is much shorter now. The doctors are nice and know what they are doing. I am glad that the emergency services are expanding,” an inhabitant of Antaviliai in Vilnius says.
Tłumaczenie Karolina Jasińska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Jasińska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.