Volunteering is probably the noblest form of showing that you care! Anywhere in this world and at any moment, someone could need help for life, help that can be offered by anyone of us
Since life can sometimes be a matter of seconds, all those involved in the emergency activities of the Medical Assistance Services are in a permanent race against time. Hence the idea of the program entitled “There is a hero in each of us”.
Doctor Cristian Grasu, the initiator of this program, has further details: “We started from a necessity and we came to get more involved emotionally, especially thanks to the people who are part of this program. At first, we had to solve the problem of our staff in Bucharest and Ilfov County, given that, at that time, we were obliged to hire only one person if 7 people of our staff quitted. So we came up with the sole viable idea of volunteering. Because regulations in the field were crystal-clear and in Bucharest we had to reach emergency situations in less than 15 minutes while in Ilfov county in less than 20 minutes. And the human resources of the Ambulance Service could only provide 90% of these services, therefore the only way to cope with the respective situation was to resort to volunteers.”
How does this program function and how can you get information about it? Here is doctor Cristian Grasu: “It functions in a simple manner. In the Dispatchers Department of the Bucharest-Ilfov Ambulance Service we have created an interface between the management system of Emergencies called Dispec and the application ‘There is a hero in each of us’. When an emergency call is registered from a public area, with a code yellow or red emergency degree, that call reaches automatically the application by means of the interface. The application immediately searches for available volunteers on an area of 1,000 meters around the victim. The volunteers automatically receive information about the existence of an emergency situation. Volunteers are trained, they know what they have to do, it is up to them to intervene or not”.
In the 4 years since the program was set up, more than 5,000 volunteering contracts have been registered. The larger the number of volunteers, the higher the chances of potential victims to benefit from help as soon as possible. What is this program lacking in order to be implemented at national level? It lacks very few things! A partnership agreement has been signed with the Special Telecommunications Service (STS), the 112 Single Emergency Number Department, to have all necessary information across the country, the necessary hardware was purchased from the funds of the Ambulance Service, more exactly two servers and everything which is needed to meet the security requirements set by STS. Now, only the necessary funds are needed to update the mobile application, to be compatible with the current versions of android and IOS applications.
Doctor Cristian Grasu will now tell us what story has impressed him the most: “One of the most impressive or touching stories in my case was a meeting at the National Emergency Medicine Conference held in Poiana Brasov, two years ago. Back then, a volunteer of the program ‘There is a heroin each of us’, Mihai Moldoveanu, met with a man he had rescued in dramatic circumstances. Mihai had found that man, aged 50, in cardiac arrest and started performing CPR until the ambulance arrived. Mihai’s CPR maneuvers were successful, as the man’s heart started beating. Two years on, in Poiana Brasov, the two men finally met face to face, being tied by a wonderful friendship, a friendship for life, I would say. Very often, volunteering under the program ‘There is a hero in each of us’ changes destinies.”
There are many examples of people who got in contact with each other, got involved in the program and changed their lives. They had different professions at the time and gradually shifted to healthcare, emergency medicine, attended nursing schools and then went to the Medical School, out of the wish to do something they like and feel useful.
Volunteer Alexandru Andrasi, the coordinator of the Volunteering Department of the Bucharest Ambulance Society Association has shared with us his volunteering experience: “One day, a person fell down at the University metro station, and there were many people gathered around. I went there to see the person, who was in cardiac arrest. I quickly started performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, then I called 112. The First Aid team arrived at the site and obviously I received a notification on my phone”.
This is one of the situations which prove that sometimes a few seconds can make the difference between life and death.