Cyclone Michaung | 108 ambulance team creates its own boats to rescue people

Using the boats, the members also dispatched oxygen cylinders following requests on the State’s health helpline

December 07, 2023 08:50 pm | Updated December 08, 2023 03:08 pm IST - CHENNAI

The 108 ambulance network team came up with its own boats using plastic industrial cans to rescue persons and those in need of emergency care.

The 108 ambulance network team came up with its own boats using plastic industrial cans to rescue persons and those in need of emergency care. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

When cyclone Michaung wreaked havoc in Chennai, the 108 ambulance network team came up with boats of its own to rescue persons and to reach out to those requiring emergency care. They turned plastic industrial cans into boats and tied up spine boards with ropes for the rescue operations.

“These boats were made using plastic industrial cans that were tied up with ropes available in the ambulances. Since it has floating capacity, we tied up our spine boards, which also have floating capacity, for rescue operations. These boats can shift up to 5 persons. In addition, these boats were handled by the 108 associates who have experience in swimming,” said Sandeep Kumar, district programme manager, 108 ambulance network, Chennai.

According to M. Mohamad Bilal, Regional Operation Manager, Chennai, the 108 team members made these boats for rescue operations as well as to serve emergencies. In fact, they dispatched oxygen cylinders following requests on the State’s health helpline 104 to the homes of patients on the day of the cyclone with the help of these boats. They also shifted persons including elderly and children in these boats, as well as moved essential supplies.

Over 500 emergency medical technicians and pilots of 108 network were deputed for rescue and emergency operations across Chennai. A total of 264 ambulances were deployed for flood rescue operations in Chennai. Majority of the vehicles were deployed in heavily inundated areas such as Pulianthope, Velachery, Thoraipakkam, Perungudi and Pallikaranai.

In the last three days (from December 4), the network handled 1,219 cases. This included 136 pregnancy-related, 154 breathing difficulty cases and 176 cases of persons falling unconscious/fainting.

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