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Now, dial 108 for medical emergencies during visarjan

The state’s Emergency Medical Services is coordinating with hospitals, ambulances, medical personnel and police to provide organised emergency attention under the new helpline number

As Ganeshotsav comes to a close today, and lakhs of people prepare to say farewell to Ganpati for the year, the state health department’s Eme-rgency Medical Services (EMS) is making preparations of its own to ensure that emergency medical services are not interrupted in the chaos.

Belbaug Chowk
A mob of devotees blocks an ambulance’s path at Belbaug Chowk on Sunday. Each of the EMS ambulances will have a ‘GO team’ on-board to provide first-aid and other emergency services while the vehicle is stuck in traffic or crowds. As many as 15 ambulances will be stationed at strategic locations across the city, out of which three will be available at Belbaug Chowk, Gokhale Hall, and Tilak chowk on Laxmi Road. Pic/ Shashank Sane

For the first time, the EMS department is coordinating with hospitals, ambulances, medical personnel and the police, in an effort to organise emergency services and provide them to citizens through a new helpline — ‘Dial 108’.

As many as 15 ambulances will be stationed at strategic locations across the city, out of which three will be available
at Belbaug Chowk, Gokhale Hall, and Tilak Chowk on Laxmi Road — the main route for the Ganesh Visarjan processions.

Moreover, each of these ambulances will have a special ‘GO team’ on-board, comprising a doctor and an emergency assistant.
The GO team will work in shifts to ensure that at any point of time, patients can be assured of first-aid and other services until the ambulance reaches a hospital.

The GO team will provide relief even at heavily crowded areas such as Laxmi Road and Appa Balwant Chowk. The ambulances will move with 15 major Ganpati mandals during the processions to provide better services.

Docspeak
EMS Chief Operating Officer, Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, said, “With the help of the police, we will get to know from where the ambulances can exit and to which hospitals they can go easily. We will be able to inform the hospitals to be prepared even before the ambulance reaches them.”

While earlier, the focus was on procuring maximum number of ambulances, this time there has been greater focus on organising all the resources, said Dr Shelke.

“There is always a need for organised planning at such mass gatherings to tackle emergencies. Prevention of emergency is an important aspect to consider, especially at places like Pandharpur during the annual wari (pilgrimage) or during the Ganpati festival,” he said, adding, “we need to be prepared for unforeseen incidents. It is easier to tackle such events with GO teams and emergency medical officers, along with the help of the police control room. With these, we can approach any problem in a planned manner.”

15
Number of ambulances that will be stationed at strategic locations across the city

Hospitals in EMS’ network

>> Sassoon Hospital
>> Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital
>> Aundh Civil Hospital
>> Dinanath MangeshkarHospital
>> Sahyadri Hospital
>> Ruby Hall Clinic
>> Jehangir Hospital
>> KEM Hospital
>> Poona Hospital

Motorcycle ambulances
While navigating through Ganeshotsav crowds may be a nightmare for ambulances, the Pune Bikers Group came up with the innovative idea of motorcycle ambulances. 500 bikers from the group will ferry patients and doctors across crowded areas to ensure speedy medical attention. Last year, the group had helped about 40 patients with their motorcycle ambulances. The group will use WhatsApp to coordinate and share information about emergencies.

Locations for ambulances
>> Kasba Peth
>> Belbaug Chowk
>> Mandai
>> Pune Municipal Corporation
>> Baba Bhide bridge
>> Khadakwasla Dam
>> Kothrud
>> Omkareshwar Mandir
>> Sambhaji Police Station
>> Wanawadi

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