In a bid to combat situations where people are unable to get through to the 108 ambulances because of network problems, GVK EMRI, which runs the ambulance service, is taking steps to start a Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) that will serve as an alternative when the site in Chennai is down.
Stating that it will also have an uninterrupted call flow like the one based out of Chennai, he added, “It will be integrated with the existing centre and will continue to handle calls in case the existing one faces difficulties. It will function till the primary site is restored and will have a mirror effect so that the server will be able to work and collect information in a parallel manner.”
This will come handy in case of a natural disaster, man-made problem or in case the server is down, as was the situation on October 8 this year. The ambulance service was down for a couple of hours due to a snag at the Anna Road telephone exchange of BSNL. Ambulances had been asked to collaborate with nearby Primary Health Centres and the police control room number 100 was also used as a replacement for a while.
“People tend to panic if they are unable to reach an ambulance service in case of an emergency. Hence, ensuring that there are alternatives is mandatory, as unlike any other helpline, an ambulance service caters to a large number of emergency cases,” said Keerthana K, an activist.
Stating that they have another parallel line with the T Nagar exchange, the official from the ambulance service said, “While many have been opting for other phone connections, BSNL continues to be one of the best. We will continue to use the service but are working on this alternative site - an initiative from the state’s Health System’s Project - which will be functional soon.”