The Gibraltar Ambulance Service (GAS) operates a pre-hospital framework, similar to that found in the United Kingdom; composed of Ambulance Care Assistants, Ambulance Technicians and HCPC registered Paramedics, providing basic, intermediate and advanced life support respectively.
Almost all Ambulance clinicians volunteer for training in specialised areas to provide the GAS with the necessary knowledge and skill-sets to attend patients in challenging environments be it maritime, retrievals, working in austere environments and rope rescue. To achieve this GAS works closely with other essential services such as the Gibraltar Port Authority, the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Services, the Royal Gibraltar Police and HM Customs.
In 2019 Frontline Ambulance’s responded to 6319 calls and the Patient Transport Service catered for 6529 of which 1781 were cross-border transfers to Spanish Hospitals and Clinics.
Ambulance Care Assistant’s drive transport Ambulances locally for planned appointments and treatments from and to hospital, clinics and healthcare facilities and across the border between St Bernard’s hospitals (SBH) and Spanish hospitals and clinics. They also use their advanced driving skills when seconded to Frontline duties and work beside Ambulance Technicians and Paramedics.
Ambulance Technicians perform patient assessment and then using their medical knowledge select and apply the appropriate patient best-care procedures in accordance with the current Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaisons Committee (JRCALC) and the clinical practice guidelines of the Gibraltar Ambulance Service and GHA policies and procedures. They will also transport patients to hospital and continue to provide treatment while in transit.
Paramedics are health professionals and registered with the HCPC UK and also in Gibraltar with the GRMB. The Gibraltar Ambulance Service currently employs seven paramedics to respond. This typically includes assessing patients, reading 12 lead ECG’s, making diagnoses, providing emergency treatment, monitoring, setting up an intravenous infusion and administering medication such as analgesics.
Both Ambulance Technician and Paramedic complete and maintain a full and accurate clinical record for all patients, with particular emphasis on patient observations, treatment given and drug administration in accordance with evidence based protocols and guidelines.
All ambulance personnel carry out twice daily vehicle inspections to ensure fleet ambulances and the paramedic response vehicle are roadworthy and properly equipped to respond to any type of emergency, manage and transport patients safely.