Having learned from past experiences, the Tamil Nadu Health System’s Project kept its 108-ambulance service and 104-helpline geared up to meet emergencies for Deepavali.
The 108-control room, which was functioning at full strength 24x7 to handle all the calls that come through, received 30 per cent more calls this year, as compared to last year. Besides, the number of emergency dispatches too were higher. “We made 4,800 emergency dispatches this year. Last year the number stood at 4,400,” said a source.
“The staff have been busy with the calls since Monday and they are expected to continue the whole of Wednesday as well,” he said. “We had ensured that ambulances were stationed at important bus stops, railway stations and at highways – the hotspots for which we had already identified — to handle all cases that needed emergency care immediately,” the source added.
Besides, he said that calls to the 104-helpline service also saw a substantial rise this year. “Doctors and nurses were available throughout to talk to persons in need of health advice this Deepavali. Counsellors were also available through the period. Last year, we had received 1517 calls, while this year, we received 2,350 calls,” the source said.