New Report Shows Way Forward for Ambulances at Risk


Geneva/Sydney (ICRC) – A new report, entitled “Ambulance and pre-hospital services in risk situations,” sets out ways to make pre-hospital care and ambulance services operating in areas of armed violence safer. The report was unveiled today at the International Red Cross and Red Crescent statutory meetings in Sydney, Australia.

Written by the Norwegian Red Cross with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Mexican Red Cross, the report summarizes field experience in over 20 countries.

“In recent years, ambulances throughout the world have regularly been obstructed or attacked: in Afghanistan, Colombia, Lebanon, the occupied Palestinian territory, Libya, Yemen and Syria,” said Yves Daccord, the ICRC’s director-general. “This report offers no magic solutions. However, there are practical steps that the authorities, the military, and also the health-care providers themselves can take. Even in the midst of armed violence, there are ways to reduce the risk for first responders.”

These steps include strengthening national laws protecting ambulance services, coordinating better with the authorities, the military and others, and adopting best practices – such as avoiding the use of armed escorts for civilian ambulances, and ensuring that staff have the right training and equipment – from countries where the problem has been addressed.

The full article continues at on ICRC’s website.