The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has announced that it will donate 143 vehicles to the EKAV ambulance service by the end of the year. The 14-million-euro initiative will also cover maintenance costs for eight years and the digital upgrade of the EKAV telephone center.
More specifically, the donation will include 65 conventional ambulances, 22 mobile medical units, 26 four-wheel drive ambulances and 30 smaller vehicles.
The initiative will modernize 22 percent of EKAV’s current fleet, which currently consists of 650 ambulances and mobile units, most of which are aged. In Athens, 84 percent of the ambulances are aged between 10 and 15 years. The new ambulances will be allocated according to the needs in different parts of the country.
According to SNF Managing Director Yiannis Zervakis, almost half of the ambulances will be available by September, with the rest in November. The initiative was decide last year as part of the SNF’s Initiative Against the Greek Crisis.
EKAV President Konsantinos Karakatsianopoulos said the upgrade of the telephone center is of “strategic importance,” as it expected to drastically increase efficiency. The EKAV telephone center in Athens currently receives 1.7 million calls annually but the lack of digital technology has had a negative impact on response times as workers are forced to manually input data.