The union representing workers in Greece’s ambulance service (EKAV) has warned that 130 of the country’s fleet of 620 ambulances serving state hospitals are out of order and the remaining vehicles are dangerously aged, as the majority were purchased in 2003.
Ambulances in Athens and other cities travel an average of 70,000 kilometers a year, Giorgos Mathiopoulos, the head of Greece’s EKAV union said, adding that the ambulance service carries out about 850 transfers a day in the capital. He said that on a day-to-day basis, almost half the capital’s fleet of 135 vehicles is out of order, when the standard requirement would be for a functional fleet of at least 150 ambulances.
“EKAV spends about 7 million euros on gas and 2.5 million on maintenance and parts a year,” said Mathiopoulos. “If we had new vehicles, we estimate savings of over 5 million euros, which would allow us to renew the Athens fleet in two to three years.”