IT was an unbelievable night for St John Ambulance Malaysia-Selangor Darul Ehsan (SJAM-SDE) after hearing they would get a second bariatric ambulance.
SJAM-SDE was ecstatic to hear that the donor of the first bariatric ambulance, Koperasi Monspace Bhd, had agreed to donate another one for their use, on the same night of the launch of the first ambulance.
The bariatric ambulance is specially designed to carry patients weighing up to 350kg, with special functions that make the transportation easier on the rescuers as well.
It took a year to get the bariatric ambulance, which was assembled in Germany and later sent to Sydney, Australia, for interior fabrication.
“The need for such ambulance is inevitable as we have been called on many occasions to handle obese patients and were handicapped to handle such cases.
“At times, our ambulance staff were inflicted with spinal problems,” he added.
The bariatric ambulance, together with an additional eight new standard ambulances, was launched by Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at a glitzy dinner at the Setia Alam Convention Centre.
SJAM-SDE now has 33 ambulances and Yeo said the bariatric ambulance would also be used around the country should the need arise.
Koperasi Monspace Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Sri Lai Chai Suang said she was happy to contribute positively towards SJAM’s efforts.
“I think the help and sacrifice the volunteers and staff do are bigger than mine. I just donate money but these people spend time and effort, which is great,” she said.
SJAM also received four entries in the Malaysia Book of Records, the first for the Longest Serving Commander-in-Chief (23 years), First Bariatric Ambulance, Most Number of Ambulances in a district (39 units) and Longest Running Ambulance services (38 years).
The longest-serving commander-in-chief for SJAM is Datuk Dr Low Bin Tick, who will be retiring this year.
Dr Low said the ambulances would amp up their performance and ensure they were prepared for any emergency.
“If we do not reach on time, it will cost lives. We are all about saving lives – as many as we can,” he stressed.
At the event, a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) was also signed between SJAM-SDE and the Red Cross of China on first aid training support, humanitarian support and exchange programme.
The MoC was decided upon after the successful launching of 15 polyclinics in the outskirts of Shaanxi Province in the aftermath of the earthquake in Sichuan in 2008.
Some 1,000 guests, supporters, donors and friends were entertained with live music during the gala dinner and launch event.