A unique service to save lives

Timely: Collector T. Soundiah presenting the ‘Life Saver’ title to para-medics of the 108 Ambulance Service in Tiruchi on Wednesday. Photo: M. Moorthy   | Photo Credit: M. Moorthy

“But for the 108 service I would not have been standing before you today. This is second life for me,” observed Selvarani of Thuraiyur narrating a nightmarish experience she underwent after being bitten by a viper while working in a field.

She survived after prompt medical assistance which was facilitated by the 108 ambulance service.

Seventy-seven-year-old Mariappa Pillai of Thottiyam too had a similar tale, though he had consumed poison on his own in a bout of depression following his wife’s death.

On being alerted by a friend, he was rushed to the hospital by an ambulance of the 108 Emergency Management Services. “I was overcome by grief then. I am grateful to 108 now,” he observed.

Completes one year

At a function to mark the completion of one year of service by the ‘108 Emergency Management Services’ here on Wednesday, these and several other beneficiaries relived the traumatic experiences that they had underwent and gratefully acknowledged the promptness and the quality of service offered by the 108 Ambulance service and its dedicated band of para-medics.

Since its launch on December 20, 2008 in the district, the 108 service had attended to 16,800 emergencies including 5,200 cases of pregnancy, over 4,100 road accidents, over 850 cases of cardiac emergencies, about 520 police cases and nine fire accidents. The service had saved about 790 lives through timely transportation of persons in the emergency situations.

So far, 147 deliveries had also been conducted inside the ambulances in the district.

The service, which was initially introduced with 12 ambulances, currently held a fleet of 14 ambulances.


The service came in for wholesome praise from a host of district officials on the occasion. Collector T. Soundiah commended the unblemished record of the service.

Tamil Nadu was one of the few States where the project was being implemented well.

A. Kaliyamurthy, Superintendent of Police, said the service had even helped the police nab a murder case accused in Valanadu recently.

N. Balasubramanian, Dean, K. A. P. Viswanatham Government Medical College, emphasised the importance of a good ambulance service as it was essential for critically ill patients to arrive in time at the hospitals. The 108 service was doing a yeoman service on this aspect, he said.

The Joint Director of Health, M. Poongothai, observed that the number of deliveries conducted inside the ambulances in Tiruchi district was among the highest in the State.

The Deputy Director of Health, V. Veerapandian, pleaded for introduction of more ambulances under the service in the district, especially for places such as Thottiyam, Uppilliyapuram and Pachamalai.

Srivatsan Raghavan, Chief Operating Officer, 108 Emergency Service, Tamil Nadu, said the State government had planned to add 60 more ambulances to the current fleet of 385 ambulances operated under the service. H. Mohan, Regional Manager, 108 Emergency Service, presented a report. Mr. Soundiah presented ‘Life Saver’ titles to the para-medics of the service on the occasion.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 1:39:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/A-unique-service-to-save-lives/article16836816.ece

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