Hiring an ambulance in case of a hospital emergency will soon be just a call away. Aimed at reducing the response time of ambulances in the district, the Ernakulam district administration is introducing a dedicated number for hassle-free hiring of ambulances. A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting between District collector M.G. Rajamanickam and representatives of hospitals and NGOs here on Wednesday.

“As many as 800 ambulances operating in the city will be roped in under the project, to be initiated in association with Angels, a charitable society based in Kozhikode,” the District Collector said. The project, which uses Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and the Internet for its functioning, will ensure the availability of ambulances all over the district, round-the-clock, on calling the helpline number.

According to him, the project would help change the popular perspective of ambulances as corpse-carriers, now that they played an important role in saving lives. The district administration is currently in the process of preparing a framework and issue general guidelines for this service, to be introduced from September 1 onwards.

Call centre

Under the project, a call centre will function to make available the taxi service to passengers, which will direct the emergency calls to the ambulances stationed at nearby locations. An arrangement has been made with the police department to punish those who misuse the helpline.

A number of hospitals have come forward to meet expenses of installing GPS in the ambulances, to enable quick navigation along the chocked city roads.

As part of it, the authority will soon be organising a training programme for all the ambulance drivers in life support training and incident-free driving. “Since most road accident victims succumb to injuries on the way to hospitals, there is a need to provide skilled care to patients inside ambulances,” the Collector said.

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