Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Croatian Emergency Services On Land, At Sea, And Up Mountains

November the 23rd, 2022 - In this edition of How to Croatia, I'll take you through the ins and outs Croatian emergency services, be there a fire, sudden chest pain, a broken down car or an emergency out at sea.

Forget your 999s and your 911s. 112 is the number you’ll need to memorise when it comes to the Croatian emergency services. While we always hope no tragedy of any kind will befall us, the chance is always there. 112 is a free phone number which can be called 24/7 from a fixed phone (landline) or mobile phone to reach the fire department, to call for an ambulance, to contact the police or for rescue purposes.

While dialling 112 will get you through to the emergency services who will then put you through to the service you need. Calls to this number can be answered in English, German, Italian, Hungarian, Slovak & Czech, and Croatian of course. 

The average time to answer a 112 call is a mere five seconds. An SMS (text messaging) service is also available for those with disabilities which may affect their hearing, verbal communication or understanding.

You can also dial the following numbers depending on the Croatian emergency services you require. These are also all free and can be called at any time, from any type of device:

192 - Police

193 - Fire department

194 - Emergency medical help 

195 - Maritime search & rescue 

1987 - Help on the road (HAK)

195 - Help at sea

Things to note

Among the various services offered by HAK, a particularly useful one for tourists is the English-language update on all current road conditions. The service also includes updates on border queues and ferry delays.

During the intensely hot summer months, wildfire breakouts are unfortunately becoming more and more common, especially on the coast and in the tinder dry scrub of the Dalmatian hinterland. It is of paramount importance that rubbish is taken away and disposed of properly. All it takes is a shard of glass glittering in the scorching Croatian sun or a carelessly tossed cigarette butt to set off a blaze that can become rapidly out of all control in such a dry, baked environment. It goes without saying that devastating wildfires can and do occur naturally in such temperatures, but anything we can do to prevent them starting should be in the forefront of our minds.

The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (in Croatian, Hrvatska Gorska Služba Spašavanja, or HGSS) is also typically kept extremely busy during the height of the tourist season thanks to people attempting to hike up the Biokovo mountain in Primark flip flops, do a bit of free island hopping on a gigantic inflatable flamingo or doughnut, or even try swimming from Split to Brač. Can’t be that far, can it? Oh yes, it can.

HGSS ran a funny campaign a few years ago in a humorous attempt to prevent people from succumbing to their ill-informed, ill-equipped and even more ill-experienced adventurous side, but despite their best efforts, people end up in all sorts of sticky situations with each and every passing year, particularly in summer. Why anyone would ever want to try to climb a rugged, imposing Dalmatian mountain which has probably claimed more than a few lives over the centuries in 3 euro flip flops and armed with half a bottle of flat Coke for hydration in the horrific August heat I don’t know, but maybe I’m the weird one.

For more on the practicalities of moving to and living in Croatia, make sure to keep up with our How to Croatia articles in our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

Paramedic Ambulance Specialisation to be Introduced for Nurses in Croatia

November 13, 2022 - Next year, the specialist training of nurses and technicians for independent work in the emergency service will begin, who, following the model of the paramedic system in Western European countries, will be able to provide first aid to victims in the field independently, without the presence of a doctor.

"It is the first such specialisation of nurses in Croatia. They will receive greater competence and authority; they will be able to independently resuscitate a patient and administer certain medications, following the example of paramedics in Western European countries who can independently provide first aid and administer resuscitation therapy," explained Mario Gazić, president of the Croatian Chamber of Nurses, to Hina, reports Zadarski List

E-consultation has just been completed on the Proposal for a new regulation on the specialist training of bachelor's degrees in nursing in the field of emergency medicine.

The out-of-hospital emergency medical service in the field consists of team T1, which includes a doctor, nurse/technician, and driver, and team T2, without a doctor, but in the future, after their specialisation training, additional trained nurses and technicians with greater authority should work in it and be able to provide first aid independently.

The training will last one year, and the first call for applications for specialisations is expected by the end of this year.

The Croatian Institute for Emergency Medicine (HZHM) says that for a three-year period, one hundred million kuna of European funds have been secured for the education of 375 bachelor's degrees in nursing. The paramedic system works in most Western European countries, and professional associations have been advocating its introduction in Croatia for years.

Gazić points out that nurses and technicians in the emergency service team will receive greater competence and authority but also greater responsibility, so they must raise the salary coefficient.

He points out that for specialists, the coefficient should be at least 1.37 instead of the current 1.16, so their salaries should increase from HRK 1,500 to HRK 2,000.

Specialist training

Participants of the specialisation should attend 1,600 hours of classes in one year of education.

The theoretical part will take place at colleges and universities, and the practical part, under the supervision of a mentor, in institutes for emergency medicine and hospitals. In the end, they will take the final specialist exam to determine that the participant has acquired all the knowledge and skills prescribed by the program.

"In the emergency medical system, there is an interest in specialist training, and we believe that nurses and technicians, as well as their employers, will take advantage of this opportunity for quality education, for which European funds have been secured," said HZHM.

As an added value, they cite other complementary projects such as the project "Telemedical connection of emergency medical service vehicles with a unified emergency hospital reception," through which the employees of the outpatient emergency medical services will be able to receive a telemedical consultation from a specialist doctor at any time to take care of the patient as well as possible until they arrive at the hospital.

The Chamber of Nurses believes that the possibility of specialist training could prevent nurses and technicians from going to work abroad.

"Several other specialisations in the field of nursing are being developed, which will enable higher incomes with additional incentives. So far, about 20 proposals from professional societies on specialisations for nurses have been collected," Gazić pointed out.

For more, check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.