JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The medical emergency response system has been bolstered with the addition of six ambulances, donated by the Government of Japan, through its Grass Roots Human Security Project.
  • The emergency vehicles are a gift to St. John Ambulance of Jamaica, with three assigned to its headquarters in Kingston, while the others will be operating out of the parish of St. Mary, for communities in the north of the island.
  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the donation will strengthen the existing fleet, and aid in timely response to the needs of Jamaicans.

The medical emergency response system has been bolstered with the addition of six ambulances, donated by the Government of Japan, through its Grass Roots Human Security Project.

The emergency vehicles are a gift to St. John Ambulance of Jamaica, with three assigned to its headquarters in Kingston, while the others will be operating out of the parish of St. Mary, for communities in the north of the island.

Speaking at a ceremony on March 19, at St. John Ambulance, Camp Road, where a contact was signed between Japan and St. John Ambulance, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said the donation will strengthen the existing fleet, and aid in timely response to the needs of Jamaicans.

“The fact that additional ambulances will be available to St. John Jamaica, will definitely complement our existing fleet, and strengthen the ability to respond to the health needs of citizens in a timely manner,” he said.

The Minister pointed out that between 2012 and 2014, the Government purchased 19 new ambulances which were deployed to the public health system, and with support from the CHASE Fund, another 16 will soon be purchased.

“This is in addition to the four multi-patient transfer units which we purchased to ease the pressure off the ambulances, by transporting patients who do not need medical care during transfers,” the Minister told the gathering.

In his remarks, Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Yasuo Takase, who signed on behalf of his government, said his country has increased its grant assistance to Jamaica, “to broaden the capacity of Jamaica to respond to the needs of health and emergency response, education, community development, agriculture, as well as other areas.”

For his part, Chairman of the Council of St. John Ambulance, Earl Jarrett, said the organization has been on a drive to upgrade the skills of their volunteers, and the ambulance fleet, “and we intend to have these ambulances serve the people of Jamaica, especially those within marginalized, at risk and high risk communities.”

St. John Ambulance has been operating in Jamaica for over 115 years, promoting the awareness of the importance of First Aid, and home care nursing. With over 300 volunteers, the organization, on a consistent basis, gives thousands of hours in public duty, and ambulance services.