New Delhi, Aug 4 : The 16 'bike ambulances' running in the narrow lanes of east Delhi have helped over 650 patients since February, data provided by the Aam Aadmi Party government claims.
The Delhi government also says that the bike ambulances act as the first responder vehicles for patients.
"The bikes were launched in February with an aim to ensure timely health assistance in traffic-congested areas and small lanes in east Delhi. Currently, 16 bikes are running and have helped over 650 patients since February. On an average, we receive about 20 calls a day on 102 -- the helpline number," a health official told IANS.
Ranging from assistance in high or low sugar and blood pressure to fractures, the first responder vehicles have proved quite helpful in serving the area, the official said adding the bikes help in preventing the loss of limbs or life by providing basic first aid and stabilise the patient till the arrival of the ambulance.
"We are planning to expand the same in the other parts of the city as we are getting a positive response in east Delhi," the official said.
The traffic, however, remains a challenge for the bikes as well, "but they reach on the spot earlier than the van ambulances".
"After receiving a call on 102, we sent both the bike and van. By the time the van reaches, the bike had provided the basic assistance. Also, there are areas in east Delhi where a van cannot go, so the bike helps the patients in coming to the main road or to the hospital depending on the situation." All the 16 motorcycles have a portable oxygen cylinder, first aid kit and dressing materials, air-splints, GPS and communication device, foldable transfer sheet, Glucometer, pulse oximeter and portable manual suction machine among others.
While rolling out the project, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the bikes will help in reducing the ambulance response time in congested areas and jhuggi clusters in east Delhi -- East, North East and Shahdara districts.
"Till now only big vehicles were available for ambulance services, now these bike ambulances will be able to reach narrow bylanes to provide immediate medical care for people residing there," Kejriwal said.
For calling the bikes, the patient has to call the helpline number -- 102 and both bikes and vehicles are rushed to the spot from the Centralised Accident and Trauma Services (CATS), an autonomous body of Delhi government providing round-the-clock free ambulance service in Delhi for accident and trauma victims, medical emergencies, transportation of pregnant women for delivery and post-delivery (drop back to home).
The official said the CATS purchased 16 Hero Achiever motorcycles which are fabricated and equipped with medical equipment.
"For the operational purpose, these bikes are also equipped with Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) for communication, GPS devices for tracking and route navigation and integrated with existing CATS Control Room. These bike ambulances are manned by trained ambulance manpower." The project was completed at a cost of Rs 23 lakh.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text