Ambulance services and on-call rotations

In Belgium, 106 organisations concluded an ‘Ambulance service for emergency medical services’ agreement with the FPS HFCSE on 18/05/2021[1]. In this agreement, services commit to being available at agreed times.

DH EN fig06

 

Only services that have concluded an agreement can be dispatched by an emergency centre. Having such an agreement is also a condition for obtaining a grant from the FPS HFCSE. Non-urgent patient transport is provided by services without an agreement or their ambulances can be used as reserve vehicles.

The following organisations are involved in providing Emergency Medical Services:

  • A fire department
  • An organisation/company approved by the FPS HFCSE
  • Hospital
  • Cross associations (e.g. Red Cross, Flemish Cross, etc.)
  • Others (Public Social Welfare Centres, Airports)

Based on the agreement, one or more on-call rotations are manned by two paramedics, who can drive out to a patient at the emergency centre’s request. In Belgium, there were 417 on-call staff for both an ambulance (393) and a Paramedical Intervention Team (24) (see further) on 01/01/2021[2],[3].

  • Most on-call rotations have an on-call service where the paramedics are on duty at the departure point. These on-call services have a rest area. This is also known as an ‘accommodated’ on-call rotation.
  • A number of on-call rotations have an on-call service where the paramedics are on duty at home and go to the departure point in the event of a call. This is known as an ‘unaccommodated’ on-call rotation.

 NUMBER ON-CALL ROTATIONS FOR AMBULANCES AND PIT FUNCTIONS BY TYPE (01/01/2021)

Learn more about ambulance services: www.health.belgium.be

 

[1]Source: Department of Urgent Aid, FPS HFCSE

[2]Source: Department of Urgent Aid, FPS HFCSE

[3] On-call rotations as discussed above are only organised for ambulances and Paramedical Intervention Teams. For this reason, no data on the MUG/SMUR functions has been incorporated here.