Realising that a matter of minutes can come between life and death in cases of emergencies, the BBMP has decided to introduce 100 bike ambulances.
Mujahid Pasha, the Chairman of BBMP Standing Committee on Health, said that the bike ambulances are expected to hit the roads by the end of 2018.
“The BBMP will directly fund the project. We have a proposal of Rs 1 crore to procure 100 vehicles. This money will be taken from previous year’s budgetary allocation of Rs 3 crore allocated for procuring hearse vans,” Pasha told TNM.
The committee is yet to fix the amount for maintaining the vehicles and salaries for the paramedics for the coming budget.
“One option is that we will call tenders for agencies who will maintain the vehicles and also employ the paramedics after the BBMP buys the vehicles. Or we will completely outsource the process,” Mujahid said.
While no particular model of bike has been chosen so far, the corporation wants to procure some scooters too..
“We want to employ women paramedics as well and they are more comfortable using scooters,” he said.
Bike ambulances though are not new to city or the country.
In 2015, the state government’s health department, in a first-of-its-kind move, had launched 19 bike ambulances for the city to come to the rescue of accident victims. Later bike ambulances were introduced in other parts of the country as well.
GVK-EMRI, which runs the operations of the 108 ambulance service in partnership with the state government, says these ambulances are very effective.
“These 19 bikes are spread across the city so that from every point of the city, there is a paramedic available less than five kilometres away. Whenever there is an accident, these vehicles come in handy to provide first aid and if necessary to transport patients to hospitals,” Mohammad Asif from GVK-EMRI told TNM.
“They can do the job much quicker. Except they can’t be deployed to handle complicated cases of pregnancy or cardiac arrest,” he added.
More recently, the Karnataka Fire Department in December had decided to introduce fast responder vehicles in the form of bikes, jeeps and tempo travellers to attend to incidents of fire in congested areas following a meet with the BBMP.