ALERT, a non-governmental organisation, training volunteers in Emergency Medical Care, T.Nagar, recently celebrated its sixth anniversary.

The NGO in collaboration with GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), exposed its volunteers to hands-on-learning experience in handling medical emergencies through ‘108 Emergency Service’.

Rajesh R. Trivedi, Founder and Managing Trustee of ALERT, said, “The volunteers had an experimental learning in handling medical emergencies. It was an excellent learning experience. I was waiting in an ambulance stationed at Ripon Building, when a call from EMRI control room asked us to rush to Chennai Park Station. A boy had fallen while trying to get into the moving train. He had suffered multiple fractures in his left leg. The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) were calm and composed, made the leg mobile, before admitting him in a private hospital.”

“It is a great perspective change when you watch the world through the ambulance. Every layman should be trained in first aid. Till date, the organisation has trained 19,000 people, from all walks of life. The aim of ALERT is to train more people in handling medical emergencies to save precious lives,” he added.

Golden hour

V.S. Murali, Volunteer and Trainer, ALERT, says, “Hands-on training to the volunteers gives them the confidence to act during medical emergencies. During an emergency, most people come forward to help, but do not know how to go about it. We train people in first aid on how to act during the ‘Golden Hour’ until definitive medical treatment can be accessed.”

The exercise gave the volunteers ample opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice. “We work with a mission to make at least one member in a family to get trained in first aid,” he added.

The hands-on training gave an insight to Chirag Jain, Head, Disaster Management Committee, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras on how the whole system works.

“The response time is very less. The Emergency Medical Trainer does not panic, and knows what to do. From arriving to the location, loading the injured people in the ambulance, and rendering prompt medical treatment, it was precise and oriented. It was good to see how the whole system works,” he pointed.

Founder and President of ALERT, Kala Balasundaram, said that it was also the duty of medical first responders to control public overcrowding at road accident sites. Onlookers tend to obstruct ambulance which try to reach the accident sites, she pointed.

GVK EMRI Regional Chief Operating Officer B.N. Sridhar said that the volunteers learnt how to provide initial medical care and the role of a first responder, till advanced medical care rendered by emergency medical technicians.

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