The grant, which covers, among others, the procurement of 143 state-of-the-art ambulances as well as their full service and maintenance for a period of 8 years and the digital upgrade of its operations center, had initially been announced in February by Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the SNF, during his speech at the Delivery Ceremony of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to the Greek society.
Specifically, the SNF grant entails the procurement of 65 conventional ambulances, 22 mobile medical units, 6 of which cover the needs of air ambulance services with specialized equipment for newborns, 26 4x4 ambulances and 30 low-volume vehicles.
The aim of the SNF remains to support and complement—and not to replace—institutional bodies in addressing vital needs. To this direction, the new vehicles will modernize 22% of EKAV’s total ambulance fleet (650 vehicles), replacing older technology vehicles.
The SNF organized a tender process, in collaboration with EKAV, which determined the specifications for the vehicles that will meet the current needs of the fleet. A total of five companies participated in the process.
The vehicles will be available in all regions of Greece, in islands of the Aegean and the Ionian, with the objective of meeting the basic need for open access in matters of secondary and tertiary care for all the residents of the country. Specifically, the vehicles will be allocated to the regions of Attica, Central and Western Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, Central Greece, Ionian Islands, Western Greece, the Peloponnese, Northern and Southern Aegean and Crete.
Furthermore, through this grant, the Foundation will also support the digital upgrade of its Operations Center in Attica which receives more than 1,700,000 calls annually (EKAV 2016 data). The operations center consists of the electronic incident management application and the ambulance telematics tracking application. The upgrade includes the management of 200 fast response vehicles, operating in the Attica region, thus providing the possibility of improving response time by 25 percent. Furthermore, the grant will support the expansion of the Thessaloniki Center’s existing system within the Attica Operations Center.
Since 1996, the SNF has made total grant commitments of $1.9 billion through 3,801 grants to non-profit organizations in 112 nations around the world.
The new grant to EKAV follows a 2014 grant to the same organization for the procurement of five ambulances and three small fast response vehicles, made by the SNF in collaboration with the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.
Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the SNF, stated “Access to secure health services is a basic social need and to the best of our abilities at the SNF we strive to assist towards that direction. With this new grant for the provision and maintenance for 143 fast response vehicles we aim to support the necessary work provided by the National Center for Emergency Care and assist towards the upgrade of the important health services they offer.”
Konstantinos Karakatsianopoulos, Chairman of the EKAV Board, stated “On behalf of the EKAV board, as well as its employees, we would like to thank the SNF for this significant grant. The SNF with this grant, which is the most important grant ever to have been given to EKAV, along with the Foundation’s previous grants, actively supports the efforts made daily by EKAV’s staff to defend free public health and continuously improve the level of its services.”