The Emergency Medical and Retrieval Transport Service (EMRTS) will be launched in Wales in April, enabling Welsh consultants to quickly respond to emergency calls and travel to the scene in some of the world’s most advanced medical vehicles.
Vaughan Gething, the deputy health minister, has already unveiled a fleet of five brand new 4×4 rapid response vehicles, which were put into action during a live exercise that was being carried out in Monmouthshire, at the Ministry of Defence’s Caerwent training facility.
Once the scheme is launched, specialist NHS doctors will be able to fly around the country in helicopters, responding to many life-threatening emergencies. This is the first of its kind when it comes to national pre-hospital services in the UK, and is an exciting time for the health industry. All the vehicles have been developed using the latest technology from both military and civilian services from all over the world.
Not only will the doctors be able to treat and stabilise critically ill patients before transferring them to a hospital, but they will also be able to provide blood and plasma at the scene of the emergency, which is a service that is not available outside of the military anywhere else in the world. The helicopters and 4x4s will be equipped with medical supplies, all of which are interchangeable between the different vehicles.
The Welsh government estimates that within 30 minutes, they would be able to reach 95% of the population by air, and 46% by road, allowing them to provide the best care to the more rural parts of the country in a way that they have never been able to in the past.