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Meeting of 29th November 2012

Meeting of 29th November 2012

Victor and Marcos brought the new DYA Ayuda en Carretera Ambulance to show to the members of Rotary Club Marbella-Guadalmina on this beautiful autumn day.  DYA stands for Detente y Ayuda (Stop and Help). Victor gave us a presentation about this service and Vicki, who interprets at the Hospital Costa del Sol, interpreted for the club.

After the fires in August and early September the DYA ambulances had almost run out of blankets and many emergency items and our club donated about 2,300 Euros to help them to replenish the ambulances.

Victor told us that the volunteer emergency ambulance service was founded in 1966 by a doctor in the Basque country, initially, to help take people to hospital from road accidents. At that time in Spain there were no people to help with road accidents or to take people from their homes to hospitals in emergencies. In 1995 a group of friends started DYA Malaga as part of DYA Spain . The ambulances were driven by volunteers and, at first, there was no-one in the back to care for the injured person so they were lucky if they survived to reach the hospital. There were few hospitals that could treat emergencies and there was often a long drive in the ambulance to reach one.

Now, DYA is fortunate to have enough volunteers to have someone in the back to care for the injured person and all of the personnel in the DYA ambulances do training courses in emergency medical care. The service co-operates with other emergency services in the Malaga area and also has volunteer projects to help elderly and handicapped people.

The DYA ambulances are always available on the weekends and public holidays to help the normal ambulance services. They undertake to provide ambulances for large Events that the normal ambulances cannot cover as well as being on 2 hour call at all times from local police and the Town Halls to help with major emergencies like fires, floods and large road accidents. At the Malaga Feria DYA brings an ambulance and puts up a portable hospital to treat any accidents and sudden illness among the crowds of people. They are nomally paid 2,500 Euros for doing this but they get no aid from the Town Halls. There is always one ambulance by their office ready for emergency use and the others are kept in full readiness in their garage at 2 hours notice

DYA mans the ambulances whenever it has enough volunteer personnel; this is usually every weekend. There are approximately 100 volunteers in the service of DYA Malaga. The volunteers need to be licenced and so must take courses to gain their licences. The organisation has to raise the money to send its volunteers on these training courses. When the personnel are not attending an emergency they fill their time with teaching first-aid to young people, and teaching children how to help injured people and also how to become volunteers when they are old enough.

Other services that DYA ambulances are able to provide include transfering people from hospitals to helicopters and transporting very sick people all over Spain as well as providing transport for handicapped people. They a make sufficient charge to cover the costs of the journey; for taking a sick person to Madrid recently they charged 800 Euros when another local organisation quoted 2,400 Euros;

In the 19 years of their existence, DYA Malaga have always had to use second hand vehicles because they have never received any money from the central government or the Junta de Andalucia. By law ambulance vehicles must be replaced when they are 8 years old so it is always a problem when the vehicles are not new to start with. When the ambulances have to be retired they are usually passed to the Town Hall at no cost and they are then used only as transport vehicles for elderly and handicapped people.

DYA Malaga has just taken delivery of its first completely new ambulance. It is an Intensive Care Ambulance and came fully equiped at a cost of 75,000 Euros. They were able to make a deposit of 25,000 Euros from donations they have received but still need to pay the remaining 50,000Euros.

DYA Malaga now has a fleet of 5 ambulances and is very pleased because this reduces the constant problem of renewing the older vehicles.

Our member Paul said that the DYA ambulance crew who were station on Urbanization El Rosario during the wildfire of August 30th/September 1st were absolutely wonderful in the care they gave to injured and shocked evacuees. Victor replied that he and the other organizers were extremely proud of all of their personnel who worked during the fires.

Vicki and Victor have known each other for about 20 years and Vicki says that Victor is a wonderful person who gives his time to save injured and ill people. 

Our club is hoping to be able to make a donation towards the cost of the new DYA ambulance and any reader who wants to make a donation can find out how by clicking on 'Aid Projects' on the 'Home' page of this website.