In an attempt to ensure that ambulances reach patients on time, 108 emergency medical service has launched an app that will automatically identify the address of the callers. As part of the initiative, all the 102 state ambulances in the city have been synced with the app.
The 108 BVG MEMS app provides users the option to either call or message for an ambulance service
The app, 108 BVG MEMS, is currently available on Google Store and provides users the option of either calling or messaging for an ambulance. If the caller dials the helpline number, the attendee would directly spot the location of the caller through Google maps, and thus, help save precious time. In case the caller is unable to get through 108, he/she can message the reason the ambulance is required. Currently, the options vary from eye problems, falls, heart problems and environment exposure.
Interestingly, if the call drops, the app has a facility to automatically track the caller from the registered number. When this mid-day reporter tried the app, a helper from 108 immediately called back.
"The application has been launched in collaboration with government hospitals. It has made communication with emergency services easier. Often, during accidents, callers aren't able to provide the exact location. In such a situation, this app will be of great help. It will also help tackle any delays in treatment," said Dr Satish Pawar, state health director.
Need to monitor ambulances
Medical experts have demanded the regulation of the growing number of ambulances in the city. Currently, in Mumbai, there are a total of 1,740 private and public ambulances registered with the RTO. Dr Rita Savla, founder-director, RADHEE Disaster and Education Foundation said that the need of the hour is to introduce the Emergency Medical Service Act (EMSA) to monitor and classify ambulances. "We are in talks with the government to bifurcate the ambulance services. Often, ambulances equipped to handle serious cases are used for minor accidents. There is a need to classify ambulances to focus on timely reatment," said Dr Savla.