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Saturday, September 12, 2015

ever responsive 108 service of EMRI in Tamil Nadu ~ Safety speech at SYMA Growth

Sept. 11, was not just another day –  ~    World over, it is remembered for different reasons – at USA it rekindles that black day of 2001 when World Trade centre was razed to the ground with hundreds getting killed; it is the day on which Swami Vivekananda addressed at Chigago. It is the day when Mahakavi Subrahmaniya Barathi, passed away [though it is corrected to be 12th Sept 1921 !]

Safety is everybody’s concern ~ accidents unfortunately do occur – lot many of them avoided by observing safety and many lives saved by immediately attending to them.   All  users of a road including pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, passengers in vehicles, its drivers and others face risk on road.  Best-practice road safety strategies focus upon the prevention of serious injury and death. Safe road design is now about providing a road environment which ensures vehicle speeds will be within the human tolerances for serious injury and death wherever conflict points exist. Unfortunately, in our country, some roads are bad and when roads are good, people tend to drive fast and end up with more accidents.

Accidents could be avoided if road rules are followed properly and citizens, especially  students are vested with the responsibility of educating others on road safety.  India should press for concrete measures in the proposed sustainable development goals (SDG) by the United Nations with an aim to halving the number of deaths in road accidents, Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.  It is stated that  "Out of global 1.24 million deaths due to road accidents, India accounts for about 1,50,000 deaths, the highest in the world, resulting in economic loss of  Rs one lakh crore per annum. Deeply concerned with increasing number of road accident fatalities UN launched Decade of Action for Road Safety with target of reducing road crash deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2020. "India as member country is committed to this target. Ministry of Road Transport in India is taking all steps to increase road safety on Highways," the IRF statement quoted Gadkari as saying.

Nearer home, we have Kasturba Gandhi hospital [popularly Gosha hospital] which dates back to 1890s. The Madras government took over the management of this hospital in 1921.  Inside this century old institution, a wonderful service functions – tens of thousands of calls made everyday seeking emergency aid lands here, for it is here the Office and call centre of 108 Ambulance services of Tamilnadu functions. 

It is a fine example of Govt Private joint entrepreneurship. GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (GVK EMRI), the major corporate social responsibility arm of GVK, was established in April, 2005. It provides integrated Emergency Response services promptly responding  to millions of emergencies and save lives nationally.   Now it is functional in more than 14 states.  In Tamilnadu alone it has more than 600 ambulance that include a fleet specialising neo-natal care.

On Friday evening, Executive from EMRI 108 services, Mr B Prabhudoss was at our SYMA Growth talking to more than 100 students with scores of interested parents. He started with the video of our Hon’ble APJ [who unfortunately is not alive]  who was Chairman Emeritus of EMRI.

The videos depicting the activities of 108 ~ and the way they respond; the facilities available inside the ambulance which looks like a fortified hospital capable of providing critical health care were well received.  Mr Prabhudoss drove home the point that people should readily come forward to help those in distress.  It was demonstrated by a call to 108 from a mobile. At the time of calling, the caller should clearly say the basic information like : the exact location of the incident [place/ street/ city / district – identifiable landmark etc.,]; the type of emergency; no. of people injured and condition of the injured. The caller’s name and contact no. to facilitate location guidance. 

A couple of new things learnt other than many other useful info :  For calling there is no age limit; even children can call b u t – absolutely no prank calls. Remember that such a play could harm the attention and care for somebody direly in need of ambulance.  The well-trained drivers are known as ‘ pilots ’ – the attendants are so well trained that can use injections on moving vehicle even to extremely delicate kids. Ambulances are equipped with extrication tools too.   People should accompany the injured person, only when necessary.  They can assist by taking care of the belongings of the injured, informing their relatives and friends and the like but without exaggerating and without creating too much of fear and commotion. 

Ambulances will carry those affected persons safely – to the Govt hospital or to a nearby well-equipped hospital, if the patient or their close relatives decide so.

With so many vehicles, good infrastructure, motivated people at the helm, trained staff – the well-meaning initiative of 108 is really doing wonders – in the city where traffic is always chaotic and not many realise the need for drawing to the left, leave the right lane clear for the ambulance movement.  Simplest of the things that drivers can do – is – don’t wait till the ambulance is behind you – once you hear the siren or are aware of the emergency, please do not keep driving,  take your vehicle to the left lane – leave a clear path.  One can get delayed to Office or to a meeting, to a cinema, or anything else -  those in ambulance must be taken to the hospital at the earliest and it is bounden duty of every citizen to ensure that such a thing happens.

The programme certainly made a good impact on the minds of listeners.  Mr Prabhu further dwelt on another important service ‘ 104 ’ – an  initiative of Tamil Nadu Health System Project, this service is also operated by  GVK-Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI).  Understand that they have mapped the entire public and private health care institutions across Tamil Nadu. Callers from any part of the State would be directed to the nearest healthcare with requisite facilities to treat ailments.

The primary objective of the helpline is to provide the caller with the immediate home remedies for most aliments such as vomiting and minor injuries. A team of doctors have been deployed exclusively to man the helpline.  However, if they feel that a physical intervention is required the caller will be immediately referred to a hospital and the call transferred to 108 Emergency Response services.

SYMA records its thanks and gratitude to GVK EMRI and to Mr B Prabhudoss.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Sept. 2015.

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