67 neonatal units with modern equipment added to the fleet

All steps have been taken for strengthening the 108 emergency ambulance service in the State and the number of vehicles will reach the 740-mark by the end of the year from the present 606, said B.N.Sridhar, Chief Operating Officer, GVK Emergency Management Research Institute (EMRI), 108 Ambulance Services, Chennai.

The emergency response centre in Chennai at present handles 2,200 calls every day. Earlier, 3,500 patients admitted to primary health centres were transferred to government hospitals per month using the 108 ambulance service and now 20,000 patients are being transferred, he said while delivering his presidential address on Good Samaritan Day here on Thursday.

The day was observed to felicitate the public who turn Good Samaritans in saving precious lives with the help of 108 ambulance service. Mr.Sridhar said since there were many instances of women giving birth in the 108 ambulances, about 67 neonatal ambulances with modern equipment, and medicines needed to take care of newborns, have been added to the fleet.

Referring to the utility of the service, he said that about 450 road accidents occur in the State every day and 80 per cent of the people who seek the assistance of the 108 ambulance are in no way connected to the accident victims.

R.Lalitha Lakshmi, Superintendent of Police, who was the chief guest, commended the service rendered by 108 ambulance facility in saving innocent lives by providing the much-needed first aid in the golden hour. She called upon the people to shun inhibitions and come forward to help the accident victims in accessing treatment in the right time.

K.C.Seran, Deputy Director of Health Services and Family Welfare, said that his department was taking full advantage of the 108 ambulance for transferring the patients from PHCs to government hospitals. H.Mohan, regional manager of the 108 Ambulance Service, Coimbatore, said that 200 successful deliveries have taken place in the vehicles in the district so far. T.Selvaraj, Joint Director of Health Services, spoke.

Ms.Lalitha Lakshmi distributed commendation certificates to the callers, EMRI technicians, and village health nurses in recognition of their service in helping strangers .