Local people, college students to be involved in coordinating ambulance service during emergencies

For better coordination among local people during an emergency, the ‘108' ambulance service has floated an idea of ‘Friends of 108' in Madurai district.

It is coming on the lines of ‘Friends of Police' in the Police Department.

This concept will involve the local people, particularly college students and interested groups, so that they can voluntarily coordinate till the ambulance carries a patient to the hospital.

“We are planning to launch the ‘Friends of 108' programme in the third week of this month. It is basically to ensure public participation in helping the affected persons at the right time. Through special volunteers, the ambulance service will be able to function effectively,” S. G. S. Lakshmanan, Regional Manager (operations), GVK-EMRI ‘108' ambulance service, told The Hindu on Friday.

According to him, the first target group to be involved will be college students for whom special awareness programmes will be conducted. The student volunteers will coordinate during emergencies by clearing the traffic at the place and handling the situation in a better way.

“We are approaching top police officials in our district for support. Village volunteers, college students, NSS and yuva kendras will be roped in this endeavour. In some places, traffic bottlenecks like narrow lanes are major hurdles and the volunteers will be of help,” he said.

The ‘Friends of 108' group will be trained in giving first aid during an emergency and also to coordinate with the ambulance service.

Fleet expansion

Mr. Lakshmanan said that the ‘108' ambulance fleet in the district would be expanded very soon by deploying two more vehicles.

There are 14 ambulances in the district. The new ambulances are likely to be positioned on the Tirumangalam-Virudhunagar route since more road accidents are occurring here.

“The new vehicles are expected to be pressed into service in the first week of July,” he informed.

Internal review

An internal review meeting of ‘108' ambulance service in the district was conducted here a couple of days ago to discuss penetration, utilisation and requirement of new ambulances.

“The month of May was very significant for us since we handled the highest number of emergencies (over 1,800 calls) ever since the ‘108' service was launched in the district in November 2008. Our performance was reviewed by senior officials,” the Regional Manager said. He further informed that a comprehensive report on delivery cases/neonatal emergencies would be submitted to the State Government in order to take a call on where the proposed neonatal ambulances could be deployed here.

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