HOPE AM­BU­LANCE SER­VICE

Hope’s Spring­board to Suc­cess

Asia Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Tom Wad­low | Project Man­ager: Cal­lam Waller

In­no­vat­ing to save lives

By es­tab­lish­ing a firm ground­ing in Malaysia, launch­ing new ser­vices and test­ing new tech­nol­ogy, Hope Am­bu­lance Ser­vice con­tin­ues to en­hance emer­gency med­i­cal pro­vi­sion in the re­gion

Hope Am­bu­lance Ser­vice has en­joyed a busy 10 months.

Set up 15 years ago to im­prove stan­dards of emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices (EMS) across Sin­ga­pore, the Com­pany’s re­mit has ex­panded tremen­dously since, es­pe­cially in re­cent times.

“We have ex­panded our lo­cal con­tracts with both lo­cal EMS, oper­at­ing turnkey emer­gency am­bu­lance ser­vices from fire sta­tions in Sin­ga­pore on a 24/7 ba­sis, mil­i­tary am­bu­lance con­tracts and ex­panded event cover,” says Co-Founder and

CEO Dr Charles John­son, speak­ing of Hope Am­bu­lance’s progress since we last spoke in Oc­to­ber 2017.

Such event cover now in­cludes ar­guably Sin­ga­pore’s most iconic sport­ing oc­ca­sion, the For­mula One Grand Prix, to be held on Septem­ber

16. Fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful de­ploy­ment for last year’s race, the firm is once again on EMS standby. “We also now pro­vide med­i­cal sup­port ser­vices for high risk sports events like the Iron­man and Triathlons in Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia and In­done­sia,” John­son adds.

In Sin­ga­pore’s wa­ters, the Com­pany’s cover has now been ex­panded to op­er­ate 24 hours a day, with this ser­vice also stretch­ing out into in­ter­na­tional wa­ters and off­shore is­lands and oil rigs.

Spring­board

From a startup with four em­ploy­ees and two am­bu­lances, Hope Am­bu­lance now op­er­ates ex­ten­sively over land, air and sea with a team of sev­eral hun­dred emer­gency care pro­fes­sion­als.

The Com­pany’s scope has also stretched ge­o­graph­i­cally, par­tic­u­larly in nearby Malaysia.

“A few months ago, we started pro­vid­ing ad­vanced life sup­port am­bu­lance ser­vices on a 24/7 ba­sis in Malaysia,” John­son says. “We have started within the state of Jo­hor and hope to grad­u­ally roll out at a na­tional level.

“The pop­u­la­tion of Malaysia is 32 mil­lion, so it’s five times larger in pop­u­la­tion than Sin­ga­pore. We hope this is a spring­board to fur­ther ex­pan­sion of a pri­va­tised ser­vice, work­ing as pri­vate-pub­lic part­ner­ships, sub­scrip­tion-based or fee-for-ser­vice.”

In Sin­ga­pore, a new mem­ber­ship­based scheme is set to launch this year in con­junc­tion with Lloyds of Lon­don. Named Hope In­ter­na­tional As­sis­tance and Res­cue, the sub­scrip­tion will pro­vide global, com­pre­hen­sive emer­gency med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion and repa­tri­a­tion ben­e­fits for or­gan­i­sa­tions with ex­pa­tri­ate staff. This will also be avail­able for Sin­ga­porean com­pa­nies with over­seas staff.

“The ser­vice is fully un­der­writ­ten by Lloyds and cov­ers air, land and sea emer­gency med­i­cal trans­fers at a frac­tion of the cost of tra­di­tional travel in­sur­ance,” John­son ex­plains. “We have es­tab­lished re­la­tion­ships with a global net­work of emer­gency ser­vice providers and as­sis­tance or­gan­i­sa­tions ready to help.”

Real-time res­cue

As well as grow­ing into a larger or­gan­i­sa­tion, Hope Am­bu­lance’s ser­vices are also be­com­ing smarter thanks to in­te­gra­tion of new tech­nol­ogy.

It is cur­rently test­ing smart am­bu­lances, de­signed to share real time med­i­cal data with hos­pi­tals as and when a res­cue pro­gresses. John­son also de­tails that the so­lu­tion will be app based and fea­ture au­to­mated dis­patch sys­tems, while staff will be pro­vided with tablets for data record­ing ex­er­cises as op­posed to pa­per.

Fur­ther, Hope Am­bu­lance’s ve­hi­cles are also be­ing in­stalled with iN∫Traxx, a mod­u­lar am­bu­lance sys­tem de­vel­oped by Amer­i­can com­pany Ferno. The sys­tem has been de­signed to se­cure loose equip­ment in­side the am­bu­lance, al­low­ing medics to de­liver pa­tient care from a seated, re­strained

po­si­tion. This re­duces the risk of death and in­jury dur­ing crashes, sud­den stops and hard ma­noeu­vres.

“We con­tinue to pur­sue the high­est stan­dard of am­bu­lance build and safety,” John­son adds. “We com­ply fully with EN1789, the Euro­pean nor­ma­tive for am­bu­lance build stan­dards, and are look­ing into the pro­vi­sion of pur­pose-built ve­hi­cles for tasks such as mass ca­su­alty, res­cue and mo­bile clin­ics.”

In the air am­bu­lance space, John­son goes on to ex­plain a new ini­tia­tive that has so far been de­ployed within Asia and ex­tend­ing to Europe, Amer­i­cas and Aus­trala­sia. “We work with air­line and travel in­dus­try part­ners to pro­vide vi­able al­ter­na­tives to tra­di­tional air am­bu­lance by con­vert­ing part of a sched­uled air­liner pas­sen­ger com­part­ment to a mini-ICU bed.” The ICU on com­mer­cial flight con­cepts saves sig­nif­i­cant time, costs and of­fers en­hanced pa­tient com­fort.

Life savers

Hav­ing ad­vanced steadily in terms of geo­graphic reach, va­ri­ety of ser­vices and qual­ity of tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment, the fi­nal but most im­por­tant el­e­ment of Hope Am­bu­lance’s on­go­ing jour­ney is its peo­ple.

The Com­pany’s motto, ‘when life mat­ters’, flows through the work of all em­ploy­ees who col­lec­tively are able to speak 15 lan­guages. Herald­ing from all back­grounds and walks of life, John­son refers to his team of staff as the ‘heart of Hope’, prid­ing the busi­ness on the fact they strive to de­liver be­yond the call of duty.

He adds: “The Hope team is like one big fam­ily, we share the good and bad times as one, we may squab­ble, but we learn and grow. Uni­fied by our di­ver­sity, we are stronger to­gether.”

John­son’s and fel­low di­rec­tors’ doors are al­ways left open for em­ploy­ees, the Com­pany’s hi­er­ar­chy

un­der­stand­ing of how their staff on a daily ba­sis deal with sit­u­a­tions of pain and some­times death.

This ap­proach to em­ployee re­la­tions has trans­lated to an im­pres­sive turnover rate of un­der five per­cent, with work­ers them­selves serv­ing as Hope Am­bu­lance’s most ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing tool.

Such a mo­ti­vated work­force will prove cru­cial if John­son’s plans for ex­pan­sion are to gather pace. Al­ready present out­side of Sin­ga­pore in the likes of Malaysia, Myan­mar, Cam­bo­dia and Viet­nam, the com­ing years look set to yield fur­ther strong growth.

De­tail­ing his am­bi­tions, John­son con­cludes: “We are on a jour­ney that high­lights that emer­gency med­i­cal ser­vices, of­ten seen in the con­text of so­cial ser­vices can be a pri­vately run in a vi­brant, eco­nom­i­cally vi­able and sus­tain­able man­ner. We love what we do, and we are do­ing what we love.”

Hope Am­bu­lance is grow­ing its sea res­cue op­er­a­tions

Hope’s suc­cess is built around its staff

The Hope team is like one big fam­ily, we share the good and bad times as one...

“We work with air­line and travel in­dus­try part­ners to pro­vide vi­able al­ter­na­tives to tra­di­tional air am­bu­lance” We love what we do, and we are do­ing what we love ‘The Com­pany’s motto, ‘when life mat­ters’, flows through the work of all em­ploy­ees’ From a startup with four em­ploy­ees and two am­bu­lances, Hope Am­bu­lance now op­er­ates ex­ten­sively over land, air and sea

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