In a bid to draw the attention of the State government and the management, the members of “108 Ambulance Services Association” have started distributing pamphlets seeking public support for their various demands.
The government started the ‘108’ ambulance services as a public-private venture to reach out to the needy during emergencies.
Today, in Tamil Nadu, there are 670 ambulances operating with over 1,800 employees across all districts.
With the growing number of vehicles and road accidents, the importance of emergency services like ‘108’ had grown manyfold.
The public were aware of the services of the ‘108’ ambulances, they said.
They alleged that the management had not considered their ‘just’ demands despite repeated reminders and representations.
Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, state office-bearers of the Association, including R. Marisami (vice-president), M. Sendhil Kumar (general secretary), K. Palkannan (organising secretary) and A. Saravanan (treasurer), said the working hours for the employees were beyond the stipulated eight hours.
Driving under stress might be risky for the drivers and the accident victims, who were being rushed to hospitals.
Though they took this issue up with senior officials, no positive step was taken, they blamed.
“Similarly, our salaries were not fixed commensurate with the price index. The workers were getting Rs.6000 to Rs.8000. Women employees working in night shifts do not have proper shelter or toilet facilities. Many vehicles operating in remote areas are not maintained properly,” they alleged.
The government should intervene and resolve the issues, they said, and added that if the government failed to do so, they would go on a state-wide stir.
Earlier, the employees distributed pamphlets to the public at various locations in the city and peripheries.
Meanwhile, a senior official representing the ‘108’ ambulance services’ management, requesting anonymity, said old vehicles were replaced with new ones.
Similarly, spares like tyres among others were changed whenever required.
The salaries were paid as per norms to its employees, he maintained.