EMS World

NOV 2018

EMS World Magazine is the most authoritative source in the world for clinical and educational material designed to improve the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care.

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14 NOVEMBER 2018 | EMSWORLD.com T he National Ambulance Service (NAS) is the largest health and ambulance organization in Hungar y. Founded by the Hungarian government in 1948, it's been performing rescue and patient transport for 70 years. The roots of ambulance service in Hun- gary date back to the last third of the 19th century. The predecessors of NAS were the Budapest Volunteer Ambulance Asso- ciation (1887) and the Counties and Cities Ambulance Association (1926). The latter operated a nationwide network of ambu- lance stations. NAS was founded after World War II through nationalization of its predeces- sors, becoming a national state-run orga- nization. It absorbed more than 130 years of existing services. The Counties and Cities Ambulance Association provided almost all infrastructure and personnel for the new organization, while the Budapest Volunteer Ambulance Association ensured the medi- cal background. Today the NAS has more than tripled the number of ambulance stations, while its manpower has grown more than 20-fold and number of cars has increased sevenfold. NAS' Structure To ensure efficient operation, the NAS established ambulance organizations based in county seats around the mid- 1960s. These were headed by the director- general and his professional administrative departments, with their directors deciding on technical and organizational matters. Counties had jurisdiction in other cases. In 2005 this structure changed when the NAS formed regional ambulance organizations (RAOs), which have taken over the role of the early county ambulance systems. These seven regional ambulance orga- nizations are parts of the NAS today. Each RAO has a local director with a chief para- medic and economic-technical depart- ment. All RAOs are supervised by the director-general and his colleagues and their departments from the Budapest headquarters. NAS is a standardized orga- nization with a unified vehicle fleet, equip- ment, drugs, uniforms, education, and med- ical treatment guidelines. Its local stations are commanded by ambulance doctors or paramedics, the smallest stations some- times by EMTs. In the year of its founding, the NAS's net- work included 76 stations. Today it has 254, which are independent from hospitals and other health organizations. The aim is that any scene in Hungary be reached within 15 minutes after alerting. We distinguish three categories of ambulance stations: Type C stations are the biggest, with eight or more vehicles, and are led by ambulance doctors or paramedics. Type B stations have 4–7 vehicles, type A stations 2–3, and both are commanded by paramedics or EMTs. Countrywide, ambulance units travel nearly 40 million kilometers on the roads in Hungary each year, and the 7,500 ambu- lance employees work on more than a mil- lion tasks. The NAS has an annual average budget of nearly $146 million. Dispatch and Coordination Dispatch and coordination of resources are integral parts of ambulance work. NAS manages its entire vehicle fleet along uni- Seventy Years of Innovation Hungary's National Ambulance Service formed the world's fi rst experimental ambulance unit with doctors in 1954 By Gábor Debrődi EMS AROUND THE WORLD Photos by Gabor Debrodi

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