Number of cases handled has grown more than five times

“One Naught Eight” (108) has become a household name in Madurai district, thanks to the life-saving ambulance service offered in the last four years.

Tamil Nadu government in partnership with (GVK Emergency Management & Research Institute) introduced the free-of-cost services in the district on November 4, 2008. With an increased fleet of 16 ambulances, the 108 service has handled 73,822 cases in the last four years. “Among the trauma (road accident, other accident) and poisoning cases of 27,361, at least 30 per cent of these cases are considered critical. We can say that the lives of these 30 per cent or over 8,200 people have been saved because of our services,” said Regional Manager of 108 Emergency Service, S.G.S. Lakshmanan. Initially, the service was launched with 13 ambulances. But, it has been increased to 16 ambulances now -- 12 of them with basic life care support, three of them with advanced life care support and one neonatal care.

The number of cases handled has grown more than five times, from mere 450 cases handled in November 2008 to 2,200 cases in November 2012. The 108 ambulances have also helped to promote the Government’s effort in increasing institutionalised deliveries. “The number of pregnancy related cases have increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent over four years,” Mr. Lakshmanan, said.

Among them, 212 deliveries took place in the ambulances itself, including the delivery of four twins.

He added that the common man could support the service by clearing the way for the ambulances on hearing their siren.

In order to provide succour to the people in distress in a faster and quicker way, he appealed to the people, who call 108 toll-free telephone number, to patiently provide the four essential details like type of emergency and the location with the details like name of the district, taluk and village along with the address and landmark. Besides, providing information about the approximate number of persons injured in an accident would help the service providers to send adequate number of ambulances at the earliest.