Four hundred and ninety-five Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) of the National Ambulance Service (NAS) have passed out at the Paramedic and Emergency Care Training School at Nkenkasu in the Ashanti Region.
It brings the number of EMTs trained in readiness for the deployment of the ambulances next year to 2,154.
Speaking at the passing out ceremony at Nkenkaasu, the Minister of Health, Mr Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, said the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives had successfully completed procurement processes for the 307 new ambulances.
“Ninety-six of the vehicles have arrived in the country,” he said, adding that 48 had already been cleared by the supplier.
He said the remaining 48 were in the process of being cleared, and that the rest were expected in the country by the end of the year.
Mr Agyemang-Manu gave assurance of the government’s commitment to adequately resource the NAS to enable it to improve on its emergency response capabilities and help save lives.
The minister handed over 10 brand new pick-ups to the NAS to enhance its monitoring activities across the country.
He said to ensure that the new ambulances procured by the government were put to effective use, there was the need to carry out regular monitoring activities, and that was why the pick-ups had been provided.
The pick-ups were procured with support from the World Bank, under its Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition programme.
Misuse of Siren
Mr Agyemang-Manu cautioned EMT drivers not to abuse the use of the sirens on the vehicles they drive and said the ministry would not hesitate to punish anyone who flouted the rules of the service.
He appealed to transport organisations, such as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), to allow the NAS and other emergency services to have easy access to the roads as they performed their duties, saying that doing so would contribute greatly to save lives.
Present at the passing-out ceremony were a Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs Tina Mensah; the CEO of NAS, Professor Ahmed Nuhu Zakariah; the Member of Parliament for Offinso North, Mr Augustine Collins Ntim, and the DCE for Offinso North, Mr David Kwasi Asare.