A Red Crescent ambulance pictured in Homs where Red Crescent volunteer teams provide first aid on the spot, evacuate the wounded and transport them for medical care. Pic: Ibrahim Mall/SARC
A Red Crescent ambulance pictured in Homs where Red Crescent volunteer teams provide first aid on the spot,
evacuate the wounded and transport them for medical care. Pic: Ibrahim Mall/SARC
Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) first aid teams, one of the main providers of ambulances in Syria, are facing growing challenges as the situation worsens. A number of ambulances have been stolen or damaged in crossfire and first aid teams have not always been able to access people in need due to security concerns.
“I don’t think people on the outside have any idea about what we are up against”, said one young Red Crescent volunteer who remain anonymous. “Every day we go out to help, wondering if we will be able to reach people safely or if we will come home to our families. At the end of the day, we just want to help people; it’s as simple as that.” “The situation facing our staff and volunteers is the most difficult and dangerous in our history,” said Dr Attar, President of SARC. “Every day our teams are out there trying to help those caught up in the violence as much as they can. Our volunteers are seeing death, terrible injuries and destruction of entire neighbourhoods on a daily basis and it’s clear we need more support from outside, both in terms of resources, but also in terms of moral support and solidarity.” Red Crescent staff and 3,000 volunteers are often working under very difficult and dangerous conditions. To date, 20 SARC volunteers have lost their lives in the line of duty, the majority due to crossfire and shooting incidents. “Lack of safe access remains a big concern for us,” said Dr Attar. “It is absolutely imperative that humanitarian workers can reach people in need without any obstacles. Staff and volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), who are centred in 14 branches across the country, are on the front lines of the conflict 24 hours a day providing emergency support such as ambulances services and emergency first aid, emergency care in the mobile health clinics and the health points. Learn more about the Irish Red Cross Syria Appeal here