Free bike ambulance services start off in Shimla

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Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in north India to start the free bike ambulance services in Shimla. In places where the four wheelers cannot reach the spot due to traffic congestion or non-availability of proper ambulance roads, the bike services offer a perfect substitute. The two bike services would be implemented by Hyderabad-based GVK-EMRI (Emergency Management Research Institute) under a PPP (Public-private partnership) mode.

Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh inaugurated the operations in Shimla earlier in April and said the bike ambulance service had been launched keeping in mind the geographical conditions of the state, which made it difficult for 108 ambulance service to reach the spot. He said the bike ambulance service would supplement the already functional 108 National Ambulance Service.

Thakur said the service in the first phase would be implemented in Shimla and thereafter replicated in other parts of the state. The idea for the emergency response service in the state was conceived in December 2007. Since then it has been a major relief for the people of the state, where more than 800 people die in road accidents and around 5,000 get injured every year.

In their latest health budget, the Delhi government also proposed ‘First Responder Vehicles’ including bike ambulances that will allow the swift movement of patients during medical emergencies. Similar services were also launched in Goa by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Bengaluru also launched First Response Unit (FRUs) earlier last year.