1990 Suwaseriya appeals to motorists to ‘give way to ambulances’

Monday, 13 September 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Everyone is aware of the challenges faced by ambulances and other emergency vehicles when trying to get through traffic in Sri Lanka. The 1990 Suwaseriya Pre-Hospital Ambulance Service has taken upon itself to educate the motorists on the importance of ‘giving way’ to an ambulance on the road. 

Most people may not be aware that there is a medically stipulated window of time known as the ‘Platinum 10’, where emergency on-site resuscitation should be performed in less than 10 minutes. 

There is also the more widely known concept of the ‘Golden Hour’, a term often used in trauma or emergency care to suggest that an injured or sick person must receive definitive treatment within the first 60 minutes from the time of injury or appearance of symptoms. It is believed that once this time has lapsed, the risk of death or long-term complications will significantly increase. 

In some cases, achieving these deliverables are impossible due to the lack of driving ethics and common decency displayed when motorists hear the siren of an ambulance. 

Motorists try to either ignore, block or overtake the ambulance forgetting that it is almost always rushing to save a life. Motorists need to be mindful that nothing can trump that need of urgency.

The campaign based on the single-minded message “menna handa – denna ida” attempts to create a sense of social responsibility by educating motorists to always take one’s vehicle to the left (or right depending on the situation) and consciously attempt to create road space for the ambulance whose emergency lights and horn is active, to pass through. 

Many motorists may not be aware that an ambulance can always go through a red light at a traffic light, and feel that there is no point in trying to clear a path to allow the ambulance reach a red light as it would have to stop there. But the only place the ambulance will want to stop at would be at its destination – the hospital.

In recent times, many accidents have occurred where the ambulances carrying patients had to be rescued and lives saved, due to irresponsible and selfish motorists. 

Better road discipline, an ethical and considerate mindset and putting the urgency to save a life before your own priorities, will ensure that all ambulances will have quicker and safer journeys. This will result in speedier patient transfers, increasing the chances of lives being saved.

Socially responsible corporates such as Dialog, Ansell, MAS Holdings, Ceylon Biscuits Limited, Vision Care, Brandix and Sunshine Holdings generously contributed to the production of the public service announcement which will be shared on media and social media.

 The support provided by these leading corporates who believe in the importance of propagating this message, especially in this hour of need, is much appreciated and applauded.