07 November 2011
By Sandip Dighe
The state government has decided to inaugurate a fleet of 950 ambulances solely to cater to accidents victims on state or national highways within Maharashtra.
This decision was taken recently following a sharp rise in the number of accidents on highways in the state.
According to the highway police, year 2008 recorded 75,527 accidents on state and national highways in the state. Of these 12,397 were fatal.
In 2009, as many as 71,995 accidents took place, of which 11,403 were fatal. In 2010, there were 71,289 accidents, 12,340 of which resulted in fatalities. The movement of the ambulances would be monitored via a call centre, with Aundh Chest Hospital to act as the nodal hospital for the scheme. A single call to the call centre would activate the services within seconds. All emergency calls will be answered in 5 seconds and the nearest ambulance will be pressed into service.
According to a senior officer with the highway police, emergency services will be pressed into service just minutes after receiving a call about accidents. The officer told DNA, “The emergency medical response scheme will be aided by the Centre.”
The superintendent of police (highway) Dilip Bhujbal told DNA, “The state government has initiated the project. It will become fully functional in three phases,” he said. “The ambulance should reach the spot within 20 minutes of report of an accident,” The ambulance service will provide basic and advanced medical care, with the latter taking care of cardiac and kidney complications, with the aid of medical staff trained in trauma care.
The government has also listed hospitals and has been graded them on four levels. There would be a three-way integrated communication network, wherein the paramedics manning the controlroom would alert the nearest hospital to rush its ambulance. The driver would be in touch with the hospital and would ensure that the accident victim is admitted there.