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June 29, 2022

SMURD, 25 years since setting up : We started in Targu Mures with a car and crazy guys, grew up nationwide, says Arafat

The creator of Romania’s Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD), Dr Raed Arafat, currently heading the Emergency Department of the Interior Ministry, told a press conference on Friday in Targu Mures that 25 years ago, SMURD started in the city with a car and “some crazy guys” and grew up to include the entire country.

“What is happening today in Targu Mures is of utmost importance because we are celebrating 25 years of teamwork that got us where SMURD is today, and I mean here the entire emergency system of which SMURD is a part. It all started with a car and some crazy guys, including Cristian Boieriu – who accepted to get involved and who has stayed involved ever since. And from one car we grew up to a system that covers an entire country. That could have not been possible without those who saw [what we were doing] and lent support. There are very many organisations and ministries supporting us now,” said Arafat.

He added that the events celebrating the 25th anniversary of SMURD in Targu Mures are witnessing a significant presence of foreign guests, “without whom perhaps we could have not continued sometimes to reach the quality we have today.”

“Scotland’s firefighters, who honoured us by walking with us, were first to join us in 1993 alongside the Royal Hospital of Edinburgh, with the first extrication team, the first resuscitation room and the classes with my colleagues in Paris, the first training centres with support from the US Government, using funds coming from the Development Agency, that helped us open the first five training centres, one of which was in Targu Mures (…); very important was support from the Swiss Government that started in 1996 for emergency services, ambulance services, SMURD, an integrated dispatching centre in 2001 complete with equipment, and there are still now continual projects supported by the Swiss Government, including for collaboration with the Swiss Air Service. All this and the presence of our colleagues from other countries is recognition and pride for a project that started in 1990 and reached where it is today without planning on it,” said Arafat.

He mentioned that in 2012 the southern county of Teleorman was the last one to get a SMURD service, while in 2014 SMURD started operating in Moldova under the same name, thanks to the Romanian and Moldovan governments.

He added that from three interventions a day in 1990 performed by a team located in Targu Mures, there are currently more than 1,000 interventions a day performed by SMURD land and air crews.

SMURD awards honorary plaquettes to supporters, on 25th anniversary

Swiss ambassador to Romania Jean-Hubert Lebet, British ambassador to Romania Paul Brummell and Germany’s ambassador to Romania Werner Hans Lauk on Friday were presented honorary diplomas and plaquettes in Targu Mures as part of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Romania’s Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD) in recognition of their countries’ contribution to the SMURD development.

Also awarded honorary plaquettes were Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, the French Embassy in Bucharest, Romania’s National Defence Minister Mircea Dusa, Health Minister Nicolae Banicioiu, as well as several former health ministers and state secretaries and local personalities who have supported SMURD.

The plaquettes and diplomas were presented at a ceremony in downtown Targu Mures attended by SMURD crews from all of Romania’s counties, firefighters, gendarmes, officers of the Defence Ministry, the Guard of Honour as well as Scottish firefighters, who made an entrance playing the pipes, along with firefighters from France and Moldova.

At a military ceremony, the Horea Emergency Inspectorate of Mures County was awarded a battle flag under a presidential decree, while the Army Choir played for the first time the anthem of SMURD, composed at a public competition this August.

Other celebratory events included a parade of the hardware of SMURD, a demo by the Guard of Honour, a parade of ISU detachments from each of Romania’s 41 counties, gendarmes as well as troops and firefighters from Scotland, France and Moldova.

The events were scheduled to end with a “SMURD at 25” Gala at Culture Palace of Targu Mures that was to reward all those who have contributed to the development of SMURD so far.

The founder of SMURD, Dr Raed Arafat, currently head of the Emergency Department of the Interior Ministry, extended thanks to all those who believed in the idea launched by him and a team of young doctors in 1990 in Targu Mures.

President Iohannis: SMURD is model of seriousness and responsibility

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis sent a message to SMURD Gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication on Friday saying that SMURD, by the quality of the medical and emergency services it delivers has earned the citizens’ respect and trust.

The message was read at the Gala by Mihai Somordolea, a state councillor at the National Security Department, the Presidential Administration said in a release to Agerpres.

“On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the activity of the Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication, I want to congratulate you for your professionalism and devotion. By the quality of the medical and emergency services it delivers, SMURD has earned the citizens’ respect and trust. You are a model of seriousness and responsibility. Today’s message is equally addressed to the inspectorates for emergencies, the emergency reception units and the SMURD air branch as structures that have, for a quarter of a century, been serving the people with devotion and courage. I wish you success and I encourage you to continue this noble mission. Please accept my full respect for your work and your effort. Happy anniversary!”, the head of state said in the message.

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