Left: Professor Freddie Lippert and the team from Copenhagen EMS, Denmark
Right: Paramedic Students from the Australian Catholic University, Canberra
Brazilian Trauma Surgeon, Dr Rod DeOlivera at the start of his Pan American Trauma Society Observership
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Richmond December 19, 2016 — As 2016 draws to a close, the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) is reflecting on one of its busiest years ever, not only in terms of call volume, but also the number of visitors who made their way to Richmond. In 2016, RAA received international visitors in 16 separate visits from 12 countries on five continents.
RAA takes much pride in being ‘a major stop on the EMS World tour’ and in 2016, welcomed a range of visitors wishing to view RAA operations. Norwegian and Finnish Health ministry members spent time with RAA leadership to compare and contrast data and performance measuring processes. The entire Norwegian EMS performance monitoring and management system draws some of its roots from RAA’s way of doing business.
One of RAA’s aims as a 501c3, Not for Profit organization is to use its own learning and experience in the pursuit of high performing operational and clinical EMS to raise the bar of global EMS. This was evident in the summer when it hosted the leaders of Rwanda’s (Africa) SAMU Ambulance service for a week’s master class in EMS operations. SAMU’s Jean Camarade said, “Our time in RAA was a lifetime experience and undoubtedly will have an impact on ongoing quality improvement process of ambulance system in Rwanda. If you are a manager or clinical professional and want to learn from about world class EMS, your next stop should be RAA.”
RAA has also been central to the Pan American Trauma Society Observership program and in 2016 hosted visits from trauma surgeons and medical students from Central and South America for two- to three-week attachments to understand how a high value EMS system operates and take lessons back to assist with EMS development in their own countries. Dr. Rodrigo Gonçalves de Oliveira, a Sao Paulo, Brazil, surgeon said, “It was an amazing experience. The opportunity to learn from the best helps us to identify the gaps on our service, allowing us to propose changes to the entire system.”
RAA has also educated and influenced medical, paramedic and healthcare administration students. Individuals and groups from the Australian Catholic University campuses based in Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane enjoyed their RAA learning experience. The largest group of visitors every year is from the Masters in Healthcare Administration class from Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU). Medical student Maria Jose Jaramillo from Quenca, Ecuador, said, “Every person at Richmond Ambulance Authority taught me something, not only high quality prehospital care, but also team work, kindness and love to every patient they take care of. I consider it one of the best experiences I’ve had by far, and I’ll keep this team forever in my heart.”
RAA’s international visit coordinator, who also began his own RAA career after an international visit from the UK, COO Rob Lawrence said, “We learn as much as we give with every visit and make lifelong friendships with those members of our international RAA family. Our staff certainly enjoys the opportunity to share their experiences, whether it is a surgeon from Sudan or a student from Sydney.”
As for the full count, RAA received visitors from Australia, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, India, Japan, Norway, Rwanda, Sudan and Taiwan.
About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the city manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City’s residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 140 patients per day. RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses. RAA is one of only 22 EMS agencies in North America accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. For more information, see www.raaems.org.