108 ambulance service improves response time in Coimbatore

The average response time taken by the 108 ambulance service to attend a road traffic accident has come down to 12 minutes in Coimbatore city.Emergency response services provider GVK EMRI, which operates 108 ambulances in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project (TNHSP) in the State, has bettered the average response time taken by its fleet in Coimbatore city.

The average response time taken by 108 ambulances in Coimbatore city has come down to 12 minutes from 13 minutes.

In Coimbatore rural, it is 13 minutes.

The response time denotes the time taken by an ambulance to reach the place of emergency after receiving the alert from the centralised call centre.

The response time consumed by the ambulances is crucial in saving the lives, especially in road traffic accident (RTA) cases.

An official from TNHSP said constant efforts were being made to bring down the response time taken by 108 ambulances across the State.

“In Chennai metro, the average response time taken by the 108 fleet is 8.32 minutes. Our aim is to bring it below eight minutes though the average response time taken by emergency response services in many developed countries is eight minutes. In Coimbatore, efforts are being made to bring down the response time further,” said the official.

The 38 ambulances operated by GVK EMRI in Coimbatore, including three first responders (two-wheeler ambulance), are positioned at strategic locations or accident prone zones.

The locations were identified based on a mapping of places where most number of critical and fatal accidents were reported over a period. An ambulance is stationed between two accident hotspots.

During the peak hours in the morning and evening, ambulances are parked on the sides of main roads.

“Pilots (drivers) of every ambulance have been given Android mobiles which can be used for easy navigation using Google Maps to reach the place of emergency based on the coordinates given from the call centre. All the ambulances are also fitted with GPS device which helps the call centre to track the fleet and deploy the one nearest to the place of emergency,” said a senior official of GVK-EMRI.

Apart from improving the response time, the fleet in Coimbatore also handled more number of emergencies in the current year compared to the last year.

While the fleet handled 24,380 emergencies (4,533 RTAs) between April and September in 2017-18, the number of emergencies increased to 25,467 (4,865 RTAs) during the same period in 2018-19.

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