THE National Ambulance Service (NAS) has assigned an ambulance to all the 16 teams that will be competing in the Ghana 2008 tournament.
The ambulance will be at the disposal of the teams, at their hotel, during training and days of the match, to convey any member to a medical facility in case of an emergency.
The Director of NAS, Dr Ahmed Nuhu Zakaria, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that the action was to ensure that teams playing in the country were “fully covered” during their stay in the country.
While teams prepare to win the cup, NAS in collaboration with other agencies and the Local Organising Committee of Ghana 2008 (LOC), is endeavouring to ensure a disaster-free and enjoyable tournament.
In line with that, training and simulation exercises have been held for the security agencies, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), and the Fire Service.
NAS has also designated the Fire Service Training Academy at James Town as its Control Room.
Dr Zakaria said the geographical location of emergency situations would be ascertained from callers to the control room and the nearest ambulance to the emergency situation would then be dispatched.
NAS has six ambulance locations spread in the country — the Makola Fire Station in Accra, and others in Tema, Ada, Weija, Amasaman and the Airport.
“It depends on where the emergency occurs, but when we get to know at the control room, the nearest ambulance location is contacted. The response time to emergencies is, therefore, immediate,” he responded when asked how fast an ambulance could get to an emergency situation.
Dr Zakaria predicted no serious emergency situations during the tournament because of the country’s institutionalised emergency medical service and the collaboration of all other partners that had resulted in a better management of emergency situations.
He advised football fans not to panic during emergency situations and take instructions from officials mandated to do so.
“Panic worsens emergency situations: Have confidence in the security agencies and health service workers and listen to their advice. Do not take the law into your own hands and do not attempt things that you have not been trained to handle in emergencies,” he added.
Meanwhile, investigations at the NADMO show that the organisation has also already put its rapid response teams on standby.
Sources said NADMO would be playing an effective co-ordinating and supporting role.
DAILY GRAPHIC, FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2008