An incredibly important profession is theirs, a huge challenge to maneuver safely and get their tiny passengers to a hospital while the little one is terribly vulnerable or getting care on the go.
This year, we donated them a driving technique training to be prepared for the winter season.
Find the interview below:
Not all the heroes are wearing medical gown
But they drive special Ambulance car suited for premature babies care.
Peter Cerny Foundation for the Treatment of Sick Premature Babies has been operating an ambulance and transport ambulance service since 1989.
The 24 hours service was established in Hungary because every twelfth baby borns with low bodyweight or as a premature baby, and even with the best treatment, they are not always born where modern intensive care could be provided, so they need special transfer and care during the transport. It is extremely important to provide proper care in the first moment of life.
We have 6 extra- equipped ambulance cars operated with incubator, and they are the only one in the central region of Hungary, work night and day of the 140 km distance area of Budapest for rescue, and give controlled transport service.
In the team there are ten doctors, ten nurses and ten drivers available to help in emeregency in 24 hours.
We made this interview with 4 of them - Péter Cifra, Ádám Pákozdi, László Pálinkás and Zoltán Gisitz - and the top manager of the association, Barnabas Lendvai.
The team members participated with their own ambulance cars in the winter preparation training for the third time, by drivingcamp to assess their driving skill on the track. Some of them had already training before, but we also met new faces.
On the occasion of world day of premature babies, we made a short interview about their mission and experiences.
How did you like this current training?
Péter Cifra: I participated the training for second time and I found it very useful this time as well, because I can practice dangerous situations in safe conditions, I would never want to experience in real, on the roads. Such as when you see the rear axle of the car coming in front of you, and all these kind of things. It is good to experience it in a safe envirement.
László Pálinkás: This was my first training here. I’ve been a member of the team since May, so you could say I’m the newbie also at drivingcamp, even a newbie with the ambulance car. I would never try these „tricks” in sharp situations for real, I wouldn’t drive the ambulance car this fast, but here it turned out if my instincts are working. Now I could see when it only worked for the second time, also made a mistake, but I experienced how far I could go and now I know my limits.
In real life, you can also meet unexpected danger, like a sudden waterflow you can’t prepare for in advance, so this training will be definitely useful and my reflexes are developed here as well.
I’ve had training with my own car elsewhere, but I have to say I’ve never, anywhere, received such a guidance, attention and accurate instructions as here, so thanks a lot.
You know your own vechiles, was it easier during the training, or made it more difficult because of the routine?
Ádám Pákozdi: Driving technique is given also with the driver’s skill as well; my own car can be a disadvantage because I think I’m aware, but in fact, what the trainers say is common and general and valid for all cars. During the training we were often driving close to the limits. As none of us started yesterday and the trainer recognised that, he let us „go until the wall” and gave us more and more difficult tasks.
What was new compared to last year, that we practiced the hairpin upwards, not only downwards and had a new slalom exercise.
Is it true, that you didn't have any accident last year?
Barnabás Lendvai: It is really true and I certainly believe it connects to our regular trainings here at the drivingcamp.
Ádám Pákozdi: I think that everyone who works as a professional driver, would need to get a training at least once a year, because the situations you have experienced here are burning into your mind.
What is the reason of that we see an ambulance car with the bluelamps and sirens on, but they driving very slowly?
Beacuse these babies are in a bad condition, so as the quality of hungarian roads. So you need to be very careful during the transport.
Barnabás Lendvai: Essentially, you have to drive without turning, accelerating, slowing down, almost as if the car would be a stationary when you have a premature baby on board, in very bad condition. Our ambulance is actually a moving ER, which is normally static, they have to reproduce this.
Zoltán Gisitz: I have been working here since 01 January 2021. The point is to make the transport less atraumatic and smooth as possible. If someone sees an OMSZ ambulance car, they deliver politraumatized injured people too, then they also go slowly, as a bad maneuver can cause a circulatory collapse, so you have to be very careful with a pit, braking or driving fast.
László Pálinkás: By the way, it is relative if we drive slowly or not, abroad this is the average speed what we use, this insane rush and fast ambulance cars are a little bit of „Hungaricum”.
We always drive as fast as the condition of the child requires! If he needs, we drive with 30 km/h, if it’s possible we use higher speed. Let’s not forget about the doctor sitting in the car as well and he has to be able to work too, and it’s not possible if he is dizzy, or have nausea when he arrives. On the way back, the baby is already under hospital care, so there needs to be maximum attention.
Barnabas Lendvai: It is important to add the fact, there is no need to hurry on the way back, but still requires intensive conditions, so still important to proceed as smoothly as possible and for this reason the alarm should be on, to ensure continuous driving.
How was the smallest newborn you carried?
Peter Cifra: 450 grams, 23th week. A baby with this condition, is on the verge of viability, the organs are not fully developed yet, or they are in the process of developing, so they have complex problem, and there is a lot to take care of. 500 gr. is actually the limit of viability, with lower bodyweight some babies can’t make it in spite of proper care.
However, there are also countless heartwarming cases. We had a baby, borned with 370 grams and now lives as a happy 2 years old, healthy child.
That’s why we are needed, to take the baby to the right place on time and provide the right conditions, because it can save lives in a long therm.
Can we say that you here to help so miracles could happen?
Peter Cifra: These are big words. We do our job, try to do our best and focus on saving, because that’s our profession, so we do what we need to do.
And thank you very much drivingcamp for help and support our mission!