Latvia's emergency team shows off new cars

The State Emergency Medical Service (NMPD) has received 47 new vehicles specially designed for the team to work in pairs. Previously, teams mostly had three people. The reduction aims to make the teams quicker and more accessible, Latvian Radio reported on February 21.

The new cars are built on the Volkswagen Transporter model. These are powerful four-wheel drive cars appropriate for muddy and snowy roads which Latvia sees for most of the year, and sandy beaches. The car is more compact, resulting in more maneuverability in the urban environment. As the weight of the car does not exceed the 3500-kilogram limit, a category B driver's license will be able to drive behind the wheel of the car, which is essential specifically for teams where the car is driven by the medics themselves because they do not require category C license.

Similarly, the new cars have lighter and more convenient equipment for medics. For example, the new defibrillator now weighs not 15, but only 5 kilograms.

In total, out of 196 crews going on calls every day, 37 crews are composed of two. Last year, 17% of all service calls were executed in two-person crews.

Thanks to the concept of two-person teams, in recent years the NMPD has created six additional teams and nine new team headquarters in those places of Latvia where getting to the call site has been difficult so far. In the future, the service sees an opportunity to increase the number of crews on duty in this way.

With the purchase of the new cars, the service has now almost completely replaced its fleet. 

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