108 ambulance service a beacon of hope for Amarnath pilgrims
Post by M Peerzada on Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Srinagar, Aug 14: The 108 Emergency Medical Service has emerged as a crucial lifesaving resource during the ongoingAmarnathYatra, providing specially deployed Advanced Life Support ambulances to address any medical emergencies that may arise.
Mushtaq Ahmed, the Project Head of 108 Emergency Medical Services, reported that between Jul 01 and Aug 11, a total of 502 Amarnath Pilgrims were attended to by the ambulance service.
Among the cases attended to, 372 were due to medical emergencies, 63 resulted from trauma/accidents caused by the challenging trekking conditions, 25 were vehicular road accidents, 5 were related to intoxication or poisoning, 37 were categorized as other types of emergencies, and 6 critically ill patients were transported on ventilator support by the 108 ambulance services.
"The service ensured high-quality pre-hospital care and facilitated the transfer of pilgrims in need to secondary and tertiary care facilities, thus saving the lives of numerous pilgrims," Ahmed stated.
He further revealed that BVG India had stationed a total of 16 dedicated Advanced Life Support ambulances and Basic Life Support ambulances at strategic locations including Base camp hospitals in Baltal, Chandanwari, and Pahalgam, as well as the Medical Aid centre in Nilgrath and Nunwan. These ambulances were staffed with trained medical professionals in accordance with the guidelines set by the Jammu & Kashmir health department.
Ahmed urged pilgrims to dial the toll-free number 108 in case of any medical emergency, emphasizing that the service provides both ambulance transportation and quality pre-hospital care free of charge.
Despite the challenging terrain and dispersed population across Jammu & Kashmir, Ahmed highlighted that the service maintains an impressive average response time of 14 minutes and 33 seconds in urban areas and 18 minutes and 23 seconds in rural areas.
The Centralized Emergency Response Centre of 108/102 JKEMS, located in ChanniHimmat, Jammu, plays a central role in coordinating the response efforts. On a daily basis, the center receives an average of 2,602 calls, with 99 percent of these calls being answered within just 9 seconds.
Ahmed expressed that the success stories of the 108 free ambulance service are numerous. "The service receives an outpouring of feedback calls from grateful relatives who credit the prompt response with saving the lives of their loved ones," he noted.
At the response center, expert doctors are available to provide online guidance to the technicians present in the ambulances to ensure effective patient management.
Utilizing advanced technology and Global Positioning System, the emergency response center efficiently gathers information and dispatches ambulances to the emergency site.
"The Centralized Call Centre treats every call with the urgency of a life-threatening situation, reflecting our commitment to serving and safeguarding the lives of patients," Ahmed emphasized.
Meanwhile, the health department has established base locations across Jammu & Kashmir, strategically positioned at district and sub-district hospitals, CHCs, and select PHCs, to enhance emergency medical services for the benefit of the community.