The units keep the Emergency Response Services up-to-date on their situation with a transport and capacity code. The code is useful in the quality control and development of the operations at both the Emergency Response Centre and the emergency medical services. The code is determined based on the primary symptoms and the cause and mechanism of the injury or accident. The transport and capacity code allows the Emergency Response Centre to prioritise and coordinate the use of ambulances.
Code A: the patient is unstable despite prehospital care and requires ongoing monitoring and speedy transportation to the hospital. The unit is not available for other calls.
Code B: the patient requires speedy transportation to the hospital, and their vital functions are at risk. In special circumstances, the unit may be used along the way to the hospital to respond to a high-risk emergency call, so one of the paramedics can check on the situation, but the unit cannot take over the call.
Code C: the patient is stable but requires monitoring. The unit may be used as the nearest/most suitable available unit for a category A or B emergency call.
Code D: the patient is stable and does not require continuous monitoring. The unit may be called for a category A or B emergency and the patient may remain unaccompanied in the vehicle while a more urgent call is managed.
Sometimes patients do not need to be taken to a hospital or emergency department for further treatment and/or monitoring. The assessment made by the paramedics, together with the duty doctor when necessary, to determine that the patient does not need to go to a hospital is based on a careful interview and examinations made on site. If the paramedics decide not to take the patient to the hospital and, for example, treat the patient on site and no further action is required, the paramedics use Code X.
If the patient is transported to a hospital or demanding treatment is given on site, the patient is charged in accordance with the Health Insurance Act. Currently the excess payable by the patient for ambulance transportation or treatment on site is €25, and it is invoiced afterwards. For more information about the charges for emergency medical services, visit the website
Follow Mary through emergency medical service
One of the paramedics goes to the ambulance to fetch the stretcher. Meanwhile the other paramedic adds Sally’s contact details on the prehospital care report, in case the doctor on duty needs to know more details about Mary’s seizure.
The stretcher arrives and Mary is assisted onto it. Mary asks Sally to call Mary’s boyfriend and let him know that she has been taken to the emergency department.
Mary waves goodbye and the paramedics thank Sally for exemplary conduct and first aid. In the ambulance, the paramedics insert a cannula on the back of Mary’s hand and start intravenous infusion. The cannula can be used for intravenous administering of medicine in case Mary suffers another seizure, for example.
Mary is stable so the transportation is not carried out as an emergency call. The paramedics report to the Emergency Response Centre and give their transportation and capacity code. They also let the centre know which hospital Mary will be taken to. Mary’s condition is monitored during the transportation. She is still tired but says she is already feeling much better…