BEST drivers and conductors could soon save lives during medical emergencies on buses.
About 50 drivers and conductors took a crash course in paramedic procedures at the Colaba bus depot on Thursday.
Kohinoor hospital medical staff showed BEST employees how to check the pulse and perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case someone travelling on board the bus happens to suffer a heart attack. The drivers and conductors then performed the same procedures on a mannequin.
“Our drivers and conductors travel with thousands of people every day and they must be prepared to handle medical emergencies. More than 70% of those suffering a heart attack can be saved with immediate treatment,” said Dr. Ashok Singal, chief medical officer of Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).
Such training could be vital as help usually arrives late in a crowded city like Mumbai, said Dr Rajesh Jharia, medical director (intensive care) at the Kurla hospital.
Conductors also felt that such training was important. “I would panic during medical emergencies, but the training has prepared us to handle such situations better,” said Vilas Pokhate, a conductor who has been working with the undertaking for the past 22 years.
Another bus conductor, Babaramu More from Parel, said that a CPR lesson learnt by his neighbour had saved his life.
“I had suffered a heart attack in 2010, but my neighbour, who is also a BEST conductor, massaged my chest for 5 minutes after which I regained consciousness,” he said. His saviour, Ramdas Avad, had learnt CPR from a doctor in Pune during an emergency.