March 2017
11:42 AM IST
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CR introduces rail ambulance
(Mumbai, march,10,2017):The Central Railway introduced a fully airconditioned rail ambulance at Lonavala on Thursday. The train, painted in red and white, will be stationed at Kalyan and essentially help railway employees and their families on the Central Railway.

The ambulance will have four coaches called “operation theatrecumrecovery vans”. Besides primary treatment, the rail ambulance can be used to offer life support and perform minor surgical operations in times of emergency. This is an upgrade from the Accident Response Train (ART) that is used for transportation of patients and medical equipment, and providing primary treatment during disasters.

The ambulance, unveiled at a medical camp in Lonavala station, will mainly focus on helping railway employees and their families. “There are 15 lakh employees with the Indian Railway. If each employee has a family of five to six people, the number will add up to nearly one crore. We believe it will be a great success if we’re able to offer them medical care effectively,” said AK Srivastava, Additional General Manager, Central Railways.

Congregation of people

Besides serving Railway employees, he said the train can also be used at locations where there is a huge congregation of people. “We have already piloted this concept in the Nashik Kumbh Mela. The train was stationed at the Nashik station to handle emergencies,” Mr. Srivastava added.

The train is expected to leave the station for rescue in less than 20 minutes during emergency. Mr Srivastava said, “We’ll soon come up with a formal system where the response time and other parameters will be stipulated. Railway ambulances will be given the highest priority and the lines will be cleared to ensure quick response. During mock drills, we clocked a response time of 15 minutes during the day and around 20 minutes during the night.” He added that the response time attained is ideal to ensure medical attention for patients within the “golden hour”.

Dr. Shyam Sundar, Chief Medical Director, said the doctors and paramedics for the ambulance will be brought in from the zonal hospitals nearby. “They [doctors] will have their necessary disasterresponse kits ready at all times to ensure a quick response.”

Lonavala camp

Doctors and paramedics from Kalyan and Byculla Railway Hospitals were at the Lonavala camp. “Dieticians, physiotherapists, eye specialists and general physicians have also been brought in. We have treated more than 280 patients so far. Our primary motive is diagnosis rather than treatment,” said Dr. Mandavi Rudra, Additional Chief Medical Superintendent, Kalyan Railway Hospital. Railway medical camps have been conducted at five locations including Bhusawal, Solapur and Nagpur divisions, so far. The camps are being conducted in ‘peripheries and small wayside stations’ where quality medical care is not available, Mr. Srivastava said.

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