The ambulances are kept ready and once the child is pulled out of the borewell, the vehicle rushes him/her to the nearest hospital

In each of the recent incidents of children falling into open borewells, personnel of the 108 ambulance service have been integral to each and every rescue operation.

These incidents, which call for swift rescue operations, also require emergency medical support for the trapped children.

On April 14, 30-year-old emergency medical technician T. Chellathai and ambulance pilot T. Ponnusamy were the first to reach the Kuthalaperi village near Sankarankovil, where three-year-old G. Harshan had fallen into an open borewell. “His father had called 108. When we were informed, we rushed to the spot in 10 minutes and informed the fire and rescue services en route. The boy was trapped between 10 and 12 feet and he was replying to his father’s questions when we reached the spot,” Ms. Chellathai said.

She realised that the child required oxygen to breathe. “One tube was not adequate to reach the boy and so I connected four tubes together. We took the oxygen cylinder from the ambulance and suspended the tube. We asked the boy to keep the mask close to his face,” she recalled.

Providing oxygen supply is what every ambulance team encountering such incidents starts with. In most cases, they reach the spot along with the fire and rescue services team and go on to camp there for the entire rescue operation. The ambulances are kept ready and once the child is pulled out of the borewell, the vehicle rushes him/her to the nearest hospital and provides medical assistance en route as per doctor’s advice, added K. Sridhar, programme manager, 108 ambulance (Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari). For P. Kirupakar, emergency management executive, Arni segment of Tiruvannamalai, Tuesday’s incident, in which an 18-month-old boy fell into an open borewell, was the second that he witnessed in the district in the last seven months. Last September, a six-year-old girl had fallen into a borewell in Pulavanpadi village.