From the beginning of October, the volunteers of the Hungarian Red Cross were involved in the work of the command center of the National Ambulance Service again, and within the framework of a dispatching service they were setting up appointments by telephone of the official COVID screenings.
Until December, volunteers carried out dispatch duties in the capital and six counties on weekdays and weekends as well. On the 24th of December till noon, between 28-30th of December all day supported the work. From 3rd of January the dispatcher service will continue in the usual form.
In the last three months, 200 volunteers worked 1248 shifts for more than 7012 hours as part of the dispatch service. No less than 62,400 phone calls were made during this time.
Each new volunteer will receive an online course that will provide them with key knowledge, tasks, and basic knowledge of crisis management and psychosocial support as well.
During each shift we provide everyone with disposable masks, two liters of fluid and a one-time hot meal on request. Thanks to Hanaplast from the beginning of December each volunteer will also receive a reusable glass with a unique image, thus preventing excessive waste production.
Our colleagues are in constant contact with all the volunteers who are working in the centers and carry out detailed follow-up with them which assesses the experiences of those involved in the service.
Many of our volunteers attend the service on a regular basis, most of them satisfied according to reports, and it is a pleasure for them to be able to help others in this difficult situation. As they said in their own words:
„I had a great time every time. It was tiring, yet charged me up with energy!
„It’s great to be able to participate in this operation, with a really well-organized, enthusiastic, inspiring team.”
COVID screening stations
The Hungarian Red Cross joined the operation of the COVID screening stations in mid-November at the initiative of the National Ambulance Service and the National Public Health Center. Our staff and volunteers screened those who came to the site for general medical guidance they were using an antigen test that can provide results in a short time. In case of a positive test, the patient should be automatically quarantined, and in case of a negative result, those arriving will be referred on-site for PCR testing.
Between November 13-31 of December colleagues from the Budapest-Capital and the Pest County Organization of the Hungarian Red Cross and volunteers (whom were constantly applying) at a total of 10 locations (Óbuda, Csepel, Ferihegy, Hungexpo, Vác, Cegléd, Monor, Szentendre, Hungaroring, Szigetszentmiklós) preformed services. By the end of the year, a total of 20,401 rapid antigen tests would be performed in 3744 work hours. In addition to testing at the county level since May, the Hungarian Red Cross has so far completed a total of 21,954 antigen test in 2020. During the shifts to guarantee our workers safety they are wearing full-body protective overall, latex gloves, FFP2 mask and plexiglass face shield or eye protection glasses covering their face.
Screening stations during the holidays are waiting for test takers with reduced service. Between 29-31 of December, the Csepel and Ferihegy screening station will be operational.
From 4th of January we will continue to recruit volunteers for both roles on our website.
We thank to all of our Volunteers for fighting the corona virus shoulder to shoulder with the colleagues of the National Ambulance Service and the National Public Health Center in 2020 also for participating in the fight against the epidemic unselfishly without fear! We wish you a New Year full of health and success.