KingAlarm pumps over $100m into new ambulance serviceWednesday, March 31, 2021
Starting an ambulance service is more than a business decision for KingAlarm Managing Director John Azar. It was driven, he admitted, by a personal experience.
“I know the helpless feeling first hand of seeing a loved one in a life-threatening situation and being unable to get immediate medical assistance,” Azar is quoted in a company news release.
“I recall vividly calling around frantically for an ambulance for a family member one night and being told that the closest one could reach me in about an hour and a half as it was on standby at a function. I vowed then and there to one day provide a truly First World emergency medical response service and there is no better time than now for us to do that. To be fair, there have been positive experiences as well, but I feel it is the consistency in that regard which is lacking and we hope to address that,” Azar said.
Now, Azar is rolling out a 24-hour ambulance service under his KingAlarm Group and has set July 1 as the start date.
“Initially we will launch with six ambulances, monitor the take-up and service because we're not going to compromise the service,” Azar told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
However, once the company sees that there is a need for expansion it will increase the number of units, he added.
30 NEW JOBS
AmbuKing, an affiliate of KingAlarm, said it will “recruit, train and certify the most qualified emergency medical technicians, and utilise only the most technologically advanced ambulances and associated life-saving equipment, thereby ensuring the highest levels of professionalism and expertise coupled with unparalleled levels of customer service support which have become synonymous with the KingAlarm brand”.
Yesterday, Azar told the Business Observer that the venture will create approximately 30 new jobs, among them medical technicians, additional dispatchers and staff trainers.
The investment, he said, is in the tens of millions of dollars with more than $100 million earmarked for acquiring ambulances, equipment, and training, etc.
However, while acknowledging that the investment “is significant” Azar downplayed the cost, saying, “when taking into account that we will be saving lives the investment is certainly a worthwhile one”.
The company explained that from the outset it will aim to maintain the best ambulance to client ratio in the industry, thereby ensuring fast response times to medical emergencies.
It said it will work closely with a team of medical doctors who will be on call 24/7, via telephone, to assess medical situations and to liaise with the ambulance personnel while en route to any emergency.
“All calls for medical services via AmbuKing will be routed through a state-of-the-art command centre and all ambulances will be equipped with highly advanced GPS tracking devices that will enable AmbuKing dispatchers to know the exact location of each ambulance in real time, which will then allow them to assign them to calls for medical assistance more efficiently,” the company explained.
MEDICAL ALERT ELECTRONIC DEVICES
It also said that its large network of armed response teams on the road will allow for the creation of a two-tiered response model in which KingAlarm response personnel and mobile security supervisors will be trained in life-saving emergency medical procedures, including CPR, allowing them to serve as first responders in the event of any medical emergency while an AmbuKing ambulance is en route to the scene.
“AmbuKing will also distribute a wide range of medical alert electronic devices to its valued clients which will allow them to communicate with specially trained operators 24/7, simply via the press of an emergency medical alert button,” the company said. “GPS personal tracking devices equipped with two-way voice communication will also be available, thereby ensuring that medical alert signals can be sent, monitored and responded to even when clients are away from their primary locations.”
Additionally, “critical information relating to all registered AmbuKing clients — such as emergency contacts, blood type, current medication, known allergies, pre-existing medical conditions, next of kin, etc — will be kept encrypted on secure servers ensuring that life-saving information pertaining to each client would be readily available upon receipt of any medical alert signal”, the company said.
It said that while KingAlarm clients will have priority access to ambulances and enjoy concessionary rates as well, AmbuKing will operate independently and maintain its own distinct client database.
“AmbuKing clients will have the option of paying a monthly subscription fee or simply paying per response as and when required. AmbuKing will also offer special corporate packages and is already in the process of establishing working partnerships with insurance companies. AmbuKing will also offer services to the general public as well,” the company added.
RESPONSE TIME CRITICAL
Azar noted that KingAlarm has been offering ambulance response services through third party providers from its inception over 20 years ago. He said while he was grateful to those providers, “the time is certainly right for us to venture into this critical area ourselves, and having our own fleet of ambulances under our direct control will clearly allow us to raise the bar and to ensure that we offer a consistently high level of service and professionalism day in and day out”.
Added Azar: “Especially at this time, we fully realise the awesome responsibility entrusted to emergency medical technicians and all support staff working in an industry such as this. As such, we will spare no effort nor expense in ensuring that our personnel are exposed to the most advanced training and have access to the best life-saving medical equipment in the industry — inclusive of mobile defibrillators and the like — to aid them in carrying out their duties. Our forte in electronic security products and quick response provides us with a distinct advantage which we will certainly leverage. If you think about it, a call for an ambulance may be the most important call that one can make for either their lives or that of their loved ones, and the difference between a fast and slow response can be the difference between life and death. Response time is therefore critical, as is the competence of all support staff and their access to First World life-saving equipment having arrived at the scene of a medical emergency.”
Azar said that since KingAlarm's inception a big part of the company's mandate was to offer the best service at the most cost-effective price.
“Nothing has changed in that regard, and we look forward to revolutionising the area of emergency medical response in the months ahead. There is no margin for error in an industry such as this and we will work on our protocols to get it right from day one,” he said.
“We are currently awaiting the arrival of our fleet of ambulances, getting all requisite permits and focusing on our training and recruiting. We will be up and running and fully operational by July 1, God's willing, and my team and I simply cannot wait to showcase the wide range of products and services that AmbuKing will provide. Just as we have done with KingAlarm and security, in the field of private emergency medical services, we will make AmbuKing the only name you need to know,” he said.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login