Ambulances have now become an integral part of our lives as they play an important role in conjoining the patient with a medical care centre. The ambulance services aim to either transport those who need urgent medical care, ensuring a satisfactory treatment of the affliction, or arranging for timely evacuation of the patient to the next point of final care. It is needless to say that with a good ambulance service a person is more relaxed when he is fighting with a long ailment. While visiting the doctor regularly, having a trustworthy ambulance service with him gives him a sigh of relief.
We have seen ambulances running on the road with a wailing siren and after technological expansion, we are also able to get an air ambulance service where the patient gets aerial transport. But it took years to reach the present standards of the ambulances and it’s been a long, interesting journey. They have walked step-by-step along with the technology to attain this progress. Although there is no detailed documentation of when did exactly ambulance services start in India but they got gradually stabilized in the country.
Earlier ambulance services in India were dependent on municipalities, hospitals or charities. No separate departments or dedicated companies were dealing in ambulance services. Though we are much progressed in this area still we cannot say that we can meet up all the requirements. There are several government and private organizations that have come forward to fulfil the need. Few NGOs also provide ambulances as a service to humanity. Some of the organizations like AmbiPalm are solely dedicated to availing the ambulance services for the very common man of the country. AmbiPalm is the fastest growing ambulance service in India that offers all types of ambulances, including air ambulances.
It is already mentioned that there is no particular time & date when ambulance services were established in India but the first notable change occurred in Mumbai, around the mid-80s. As the same, it was spread through other major parts of the country. An allegedly remarkable step happen in 1991 when the services started focusing on a systematic run and got named Centralized Accident & Trauma Services (CATS). CATS continued to be the most important aspect of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of India and complemented it in dealing with emergency medical situations across the country.
In August 2005, it took a drastic change when a corporate leader Mr Ramalinga Raju intervened and introduced dial-108 ambulance services. It brought sustainability to the services and changed the way ambulance services were working in India. The idea behind dial-108 was to bring all the three major emergency services connectivity through one number. There are separate numbers for police, fire, and ambulance services 100, 101 and 102 respectively but that could confuse people in times of emergency which number they should dial. After the initiation of 108 in 2005, it is now easier for people to remember one number only that integrates all the emergency services. It is a collaboration between the government and the private organizations that are actively working in 18 states and 2 union territories.
It works as a mediator and connects the caller with the concerned department after collecting the needed information. With the assistance of the government hospitals and private ambulance aggregators like AmbiPalm Health Pvt. Ltd., the patient is transported to the nearest government hospital. The dial-108 service has subsided the problems while calling for emergency service. Instead of looking for different numbers, one needs to remember one number only that brings all the emergency services to one desk.
The history of ambulances lies in Europe around the 10th or 11th century which emerged as a notable part during World War when it was used to carry injured soldiers. Later it was shifted to bullock carts, then wheels and then now we see the most advanced ambulances around us. In India, we can say that the emergence of a proper ambulance service was initially an inheritance of other developed countries but now it has propelled a trustworthy system. With National Ambulance Service 102, Emergency Medical Service 108 and other organizations like AmbiPalm Health Pvt. Ltd., the ambulance services in India are improving with time.