At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was feared that there would be a shortage of regular 112 resources and limited availability of staff.
To avoid this and to guarantee the continuity of the 112 service as much as possible, a digital platform was developed at the initiative of the Belgian professional association of ambulance services (Belgambu) and the FPS HSFCE. The digital platform aims to efficiently respond to a request for support from the emergency centre 112 with support offered by the ambulance services.
During the development of the platform, quality for the patient was always crucial, meaning that only ambulance services and high-quality staff that met specific conditions could be drafted in.
On 2 April 2020, the test phase for the platform was launched in West Flanders. On the basis of this test, the platform was fine-tuned and by the end of June 2020 it was fully operational.
To date, it has not been necessary to activate the platform, as outages have been limited and the need has been met primarily by deploying the resources of the Red Cross. In the future, this platform may be used to organise non-urgent patient transport.