Six cardiac ambulances, ordered for the fire brigade more than a year ago, have still not arrived.
The civic standing committee had sanctioned 12 such ambulances last year, of which six were to be given to the fire department and the remaining were for the civic hospitals.
The ambulances meant for civic hospitals arrived in April this year. Of these, only three are being used at KEM, Sion and Nair Hospitals while the other three are unused and have to be sent for servicing regularly. The ambulances are meant to assist the fire department during rescue operations.
These ambulances are being made in Pune under the expert supervision of senior doctors.
“One of the ambulances is almost ready and will be procured by the department by the end of the year,” said chief fire officer, Uday Tatkare.
Tatkare also added that once the first ambulance arrives, he will get it inspected by a few senior doctors from BMC hospitals, just to check the condition of the apparatus fitted inside.
The cost of each ambulance is around Rs 70 lakh. They will be equipped with respirators and will have doctors and paramedics on board.
These ambulances will cater to victims of heart attacks and other cardiac conditions. They will be fully equipped with an electrocardiogram (ECG) apparatus, a defibrillator and a pulse oxymeter.
“There is a shortage of trained staff to handle the apparatus in these ambulances, which is why three of them are lying unused,” said a senior civic official.
The plan to have an integrated ambulance system was first proposed following the 7/11 serial train blasts.
Several victims had to be transported using rickshaws and private vehicles, while many of them died because they were not attended to in time.