EMRI ‘108’ Ambulance Service provided on request

: A controversy has broken out over providing ambulance to Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s security convoy during his visit to the city on Wednesday.

He comes under ‘Z-plus’ category of security. And, it is mandatory for an ambulance to accompany the convoys of VIPs and VVIPs’.

A highly placed official told The Hindu on Tuesday that as Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) had no ambulance of its own, the GVK-Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) ‘108’ Ambulance Service personnel here were requested to provide one.

However, they had initially refused citing the political nature of the Gujarat Chief Minister’s visit.

In view of the elections, the ambulance service had issued a 12-point circular in March delineating a code of conduct for its employees.

One of the decrees was a strict directive to refrain from taking part in any political activity.

As such, ambulances from private hospitals were roped in for the recent Coimbatore visits of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who also came under the Z Plus security category.

However, as for Mr. Modi’s visit, the security personnel had objected to ambulances from private hospitals being part of his security convoy. Hectic parleys were conducted on Tuesday morning over this issue.

Ultimately, following the intervention of senior Health Department officials, it was suggested to the 108 GVK-EMRI that they could provide an ambulance without any marking or its logo.

Ambulance proposal

A senior official in the CMCH said that major government hospitals in Tamil Nadu were sanctioned sophisticated ambulances for upgrading trauma care in 2009 under the National Rural Health Mission. It was equipped with its own mini-operation theatre and could handle a range of emergencies.

However, the ambulances were subsequently handed over to 108 GVK-EMRI.

The CMCH had recently submitted a proposal to the Directorate of Medical Education asking for these ambulances to be handed back.

Coimbatore, Madurai and Thanjavur saw frequent visits by VIPs and VVIPs. As such, it would be better for government hospitals in these districts to have their own ambulances.

Pulling off 108 GVK-EMRI ambulances frequently for VIP convoy duty would only hit emergency care in these districts, the official said.

  • EMRI ‘108’ Ambulance Service personnel initially refused to oblige

  • Reason they cited was the political nature of Modi’s visit to Coimbatore