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Times of India
30 August 2010
Kolkata, India

Four government hospitals roped in to provide emergency care
Trauma care in Kolkata received a fillip with Rotary Club of Calcutta Sun City and Kolkata Police joining hands to arrange for quick transportation of victims to hospitals. From now on, 12 ambulances will be stationed at important junctions across the city and four will be on duty round–the–clock.

Police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti and finance minister Asim Dasgupta at ICCR on Sunday Police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti and finance minister Asim Dasgupta at ICCR on Sunday
Over the next two months, four more ambulances will be added to the fleet of emergency ambulances. "Since March, we have had 12 transit trauma care ambulances on the road. Now, we will have four more and the service hours have been extended. These vans, fitted with GPS tracking systems, will be available from 6 am to 10 pm. Four will work through the night.

To make sure that trauma victims are attended to immediately, we have roped in SSKM Hospital, NRS Hospital, MR Bangur Hospital and Police Hospital. They will have wards dedicated to the treatment of trauma victims," said Chakrabarti. He added that a few private nursing homes and hospitals were being roped in as well.

State finance minister Asim Dasgupta said the trauma care units in the four hospitals would be opened before Durga Puja.

Every transit care ambulance has two policemen who work as paramedics. They have been trained by Rotary Club of Calcutta Sun City. More than 100 traffic sergeants of Kolkata Police have so far been trained in basic life support system for the project. They will undergo further training and more policemen will join the programme.

The first phase of the project, Pre–hospitalization Trauma Care Management, got off the blocks earlier this year. "With 16 ambulances at our disposal, we are now ready to launch the second phase, which is post–hospitalization care. We have started networking with hospitals for the purpose. It will gradually lead to the third stage, which involves extending this trauma care management to the districts of West Bengal," added Chakrabarti.

Launched in 2006, it took two years for Rotary Club to procure the ambulances and get them equipped to handle emergency cases. Fitted with GPS systems and armed with medical equipment needed to attend to trauma patients, the ambulances will be diverted to accident spots in a few minutes.

"Our control room will track the ambulances and the moment an emergency is reported, it will divert the vehicle to the location. This cuts out the time needed to call an ordinary ambulance and helps save lives," said Chakrabarti.

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