A district administrative office for ‘108', the 24 x 7 centralised helpline for medical, police and fire emergencies, was opened at the Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital here on Monday.

District Collector, Mahesan Kasirajan, inaugurated the administrative office of the toll free helpline service, hitherto operating as a mobile service. The services in the centre are manned by 80 staff with a fleet of 14 ambulances operating across the district. While all emergency calls would continue to be received by the emergency response centre at Chennai, the office here would co-ordinate ambulance services and awareness campaigns.

The 108 Emergency Management Service (EMS) has attended 40,745 emergencies in the district since its inception in December 2008, according to a release issued by EMS. These include 11,684 pregnancy complications, 9348 road traffic accidents, and 2370 cardiac emergencies. A total of 1,133 police and 18 fire emergencies have also been handled, and 1,756 lives saved, said the release.

Balamurugan, District Manager, 108; T. Mohana Sundaram, Joint Director of Health; S. Paneerselvam, Medical Superintendent, Annal Gaandhi Memorial Hospital; and M.A. Aleem, Vice Principal, KAPV Government Medical College were among those present.