Red Cross launches “#Ambulance!” - a new online course for emergency care crews from around the world on staying safe

Published: 6 October 2016 14:36 CET

Hundreds of ambulance and other pre-hospital emergency care workers logged on this week to begin a new month-long digital course, #Ambulance!, on ways to carry out their critical work safely in dangerous and risky settings.

The coursework and its live-learning platform was designed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Norwegian Red Cross and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement’s Health Care in Danger initiative, in partnership with the Geneva Learning Foundation.

Nearly 800 people from 75 countries signed up for the course, about half from Latin American countries and the rest from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and other parts of the Americas.

“Around the world, every day, emergency health crews work to save lives in the midst of armed conflict, street violence, social unrest and other high risk situations and face direct attacks, obstruction, banditry and other threats,” explains Panu Saaristo, Emergency Health Team Leader with IFRC.  

“Our course is an opportunity for ambulance and other pre-hospital emergency care workers to share experiences and learn about smart practices, so that they can do their jobs as safely as possible and still access people in need.”

Led by a team of global experts and practitioners who focus on protecting ambulance and other emergency health workers, the course includes live online classes and discussions and home-based work relating to emergency care delivery in violent and complex settings, problem solving and best practices.

Participants were recruited by Red Cross and Red Crescent teams around the world and via Facebook and Twitter. 

“Most paramedics are not trained on what to do when their vehicle is being shot at or obstructed,” Panu adds.  “Through this course, we think ambulance workers responding to drug-war bloodshed in Chihuahua, Mexico and emergency crews skirting bombs to save lives in Aleppo, Syria can learn much from each other’s experiences.”

This pilot course will be reviewed, adapted and offered again in the months to come.  More details are available at and by following @Ambulance-risk.