At 12.17 p.m., the first telephone call came to 108 Emergency Response Centre on Wednesday informing about the fire accident in Virudhunagar district, officials said. Within the next 60 seconds, seven follow-up calls landed. From then onwards, for the next 10 to 15 minutes the telephones kept ringing from different towns in the district at the control room.
Within 10 minutes, the first ambulance from the 108 emergency service arrived at the accident spot. The intensity of the fire accident was assessed by our emergency medical technician Pandi, said EMRI Manager G. Thanigaivel Murugan. The first input from the technician was so vital for us that we understood the gravity and mobilised as many as seven more ambulances from Madurai and other towns including Sattur, Vembakottai, Sivakasi to rush to the accident spot.
As many as 16 injured victims were shifted from the accident spot to Government Hospital in Virudhunagar district and another 12 persons, who had suffered 70 to 80 per cent burns, were shifted to Madurai from Sivakasi Government Hospital. What was crucial in the hour of crisis was the timely and trained staffs’ care.
“During the two-hour travel from Sivakasi to Madurai, the patient’s blood pressure, pulse rate and other parameters were monitored… The doctors at the GRH Madurai were informed about the burns sustained by the patients,” Mr. Murugan said.
The Madurai Collector Anshul Mishra, who was at the Government Rajaji Hospital, was informed about the shifting of patients from Virudhunagar district to Madurai. The ward number 99 was converted into a burns ward to facilitate treatment of the fire-accident victims, doctors said.
Another staff of 108 emergency services said that the ambulance vehicles were equipped in such a manner that a body wash was provided to the victims with a liquid solution and travelled in air-conditioned coach.