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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

No ambulances for accident-prone zones

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 26, 2013
First Published: 01:25 IST(26/8/2013) | Last Updated: 03:28 IST(26/8/2013)

In the absence of dedicated ambulances at accident-prone zones, many lives are lost as police patrol vans have to ferry the injured to hospitals, resulting in crucial loss of time in treating accident victims.

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According to a mapping done by Delhi Police, there are 74 accident-prone areas in the city. The police have been asking the Delhi government to station its ambulances at these key spots to help the injured. However, no ambulance has been deployed as yet. Some of these areas include ITO, Rajghat, Akshardham, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Mahipalpur flyover, among others.

“In a meeting held with the Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) recently, it was decided that critical accident-prone areas will be identified by the Delhi Police and a list will be given to the Delhi government. We have done that but the government is yet to station ambulances at the locations provided by us,” said a senior Delhi Police official.

In a letter to the government, the Delhi Police furnished a list of 74 spots, including two in Central and New Delhi, 13 in east Delhi, 24 in north Delhi, 17 in south Delhi and 18 in west Delhi.

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“Nowhere in the world do we have police carrying injured people to hospitals as there are dedicated ambulances to do that job. However, in Delhi, PCR vans have become the largest ambulance service. Centralised ambulance trauma services (CATS) ambulance staff are trained to take care of injured. Victims should get treatment while they are being taken to the hospital, a time considered as the golden hour,” the official added.

Health department officials, however, termed the entire exercise as a routine procedure.

“It’s an on-going process and we work in tandem with Delhi police. They share information with us every year about areas where most accidents have happened in the past. We match our existing deployment with those new areas,” said a senior official from the health department.

The official said there were currently 151 CATS ambulances and a tender to procure 100 more would be floated soon.

Police officials maintained that it was decided that Delhi Police and the state government would jointly prepare standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed in case of an accident.

Both must share information and make sure specific patrol vans and ambulances are in touch with each other when rushing to the spot.

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