Fire accident casualties are taken to KMCH since it is the only government hospital in the city with a specialised burns unit

GVK 108 Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) has added two more ambulances to its existing fleet in anticipation of Deepavali.

It now operates 23 ambulances in the city. Apart from Chennai, EMRI has allotted 24 ambulances for Tiruvallur and 27 for Kancheepuram.

According to paramedics, the most number of emergency cases happen during festivals. “As compared to normal days, we get a lot more emergency calls on festival days, especially on Pongal and Deepavali,” said D. Chandrashekar, an EMRI technician.

As compared to the average 65 cases in October 2011 and 45 cases in November 2010, there have been 73 and 55 cases on Deepavali days, respectively.

“People are careless with firecrackers. Children, especially, go too close to the firecracker and their clothes catch fire,” said Mohammed Bilal, district manager of EMRI.

Fire accident casualties are taken to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital (KMCH) since it is the only government hospital in the city with a specialised burns unit. Last Deepavali, at the burns ward in KMCH, there were about 28 outpatients and six admissions.

V. Jayaraman, head of plastic surgery at KMCH, said the culprits in most of the fire-related accidents are the flower-pot crackers and the ‘wala’ garland crackers.

Misfired ‘rockets’, too, can cause accidents. Most patients suffer 30-40 per cent burns as a result of such accident, he said.

Less serious burns on the face and hands are due to sparks from burning crackers. Dr. Jayaraman said that parents must always accompany little children when bursting crackers during Deepavali. Children should wear cotton or even wet clothes to reduce the chances of suffering burns, he said.

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