Four years have passed since the volunteers of Hellenic Rescue Team, department of Cyclades started to help the patients' transportation in the island of Paros, due to understaffing of the local emergency aid center. A handful of people with an old ambulance volunteered their services since 2012 to fill gaps in the shift schedule of the local emergency aid center helping as much as they can to save lives. In this big race, the costs arising are covered most times by the same vollunteers. During last year some local clubs, recognizing the work of Cyclades HRT department held events and part of their revenues covered some needs of the department, and also some people donated first aid equipment , but these offers do not solve the whole problem.
The situation in Paros deteriorates even more during summertime when the island octuple or some days tenfold its population, which results in increased accidents and generally incidents regarding the health of citizens. It is worth mentioning that only in last May and even before the beginning of tourist season, the Cyclades HRT department made 13 transportations in only 21 days. Totally in 2015, 99 transportations took place, while for this year, according to data from Cyclades HRT, up to June 24, 2016, there were 50 transportations. Many of the transportations are conducted during night, with the volunteers of HRT to respond to calls 24 hours and rushing to incidents even assisting the employees of local emergency center, due to the large number of injured or because of simultaneous incidents.
The above data reflect the tragic situation on an island, tourist attraction for thousands, and at the same time showing the lack of public health infrastructure in most Greek islands.
Note that transportations undertaken by HRT of Cyclades are always made after receiving call from the Health Center or another state service or even relatives of the patient or the injured person himself and only when cannot covered from the emergency center. The incidents that the volunteers are asked to help include:
- Transfer of injured from the point of the accident to Paros Health Centre and if necessary, to a diagnostic center of the island for further examination.
- Transfer of sick or injured from Paros Health Center to port in order to be transported either by ambulance-boat or ferry boat to the hospital of Syros or Attica respectively.
- Transport of sick or injured from Paros Health Centre at the airport to be transferred immediately to a hospital in Athens.
- Transport of sick or injured from the ship or from the Health Centre to their house
- Drowning incidents for collecting dead bodies
- Transfer of wounded in Paros Health Centre during sports events
All members of Cyclades HRT have been certified in First Aid (Basic Life Support) and Treatment of Trauma by the instructors of Hellenic Company for the Emergency Pre-hospital Care.
The department of Hellenic Rescue Team in Cyclades invites all involved parts to bend over the problem and ask for the support of all those who can help.
Cyclades HRT is also involved in fire fighting, search and rescue operations, as well as sports events coverage in first aid.