Arab News – A fleet of 177 ambulances has been deployed during the Haj season in Makkah, Madinah, Arafat, Muzdaliafah and Mina, a senior official from the Ministry of Health said here Wednesday.
“The fleet of ambulances includes 120 mini-ambulances and 57 large vehicles that will be used to ferry sick Hajis from the medical clinics to hospitals at the holy sites,” the official said, adding that the fleet includes 30 mini-ambulances that were introduced last year.
“We have deployed mini-ambulances so that the vehicles could make their way even through large crowds of pilgrims who will be using the roads and alleys,” the official said, adding that the Saudi Red Crescent will also detail air ambulances to transport patients in emergency situations in cooperation with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).
“The services will be intensified during the pilgrims’ stay in Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah,” he said.
To offer comprehensive services to the pilgrims, he said the mobile unit will move with the pilgrims during the final phase of the Haj from Arafat to Muzdalifah and then finally to Mina during the time when pilgrims perform their various Haj rituals.
The entire fleet of ambulance is fully equipped with all the modern facilities to carry ICU patients on board. “Even the medics and paramedics who will be in the ambulances are trained and competent to handle all types of patients in emergency situations,” he said.
In cooperation with the Civil Defense, the Ministry of Health has also drawn up an emergency plan for evacuation, accidents and disaster response.
Helipads have been arranged at five hospitals to receive patients who need emergency treatment during the season.
The hospitals are King Abdullah Medical City, Al-Noor General Hospital, Mina Al-Tawaari (Emergency) Hospital in Mina, Arafat General Hospital and Hira Hospital.
The ambulances and the cars used by the medics have undergone maintenance tests to ensure that they are in good condition.

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