The combination of technology and the human brain has made our life very smooth. However, we still lag in providing the best medical care, especially in case of road accidents due to heavy traffic in metros and the poor condition of roads in far-flung areas.
Therefore, in the recent years, the Govt. of India along with a few good Samaritans have taken the initiative to promote motorbike ambulance which can provide quicker and faster medical aid than the normal ambulance.
The Indian PM Narendra Modi, in a video conference with entrepreneurs across the country, asked two budding entrepreneurs from Bihar to launch bike ambulance service. The duo had launched a bike taxi service app recently.
So, what are these bike ambulances and how did they come into existence? Well, let us learn all this and much more in today’s article on motorbike ambulance.History
As per record, the history of bike ambulances goes back to 1915. They were widely used in WWI by the British, French and also the Americans. These ambulances were light-weight, fast, flexible and had sidecars to carry the patient. The U.S. version of the bike ambulance had two stretchers, one on top of the other while the French version had one.
So that was the brief history about motorbike ambulance, now let us get to know about some of the bike ambulance initiatives in India.
Motorbike Ambulances – India
On 16th of April 2015, 30 Bajaj Avenger 220cc motorbikes were launched as ambulances in Bengaluru by the State Health Minister, U.T. Khader. The target of the motorbike ambulances was to reach the destination in 10 minutes that is difficult for four-wheelers.
Each motorbike is equipped with a medical kit that includes bandages, stethoscope, and drugs that are essential to provide primary aid to the patient. Each of these motorbike ambulances is estimated to cost up to Rs.2 lakh.
With the help of the Suraksha Setu Programme, the State Home Department of Gujarat launched 2 bike ambulances especially for the tribals of Gujarat. One ambulance would be parked on the highway and the other one will be parked in the remote tribal areas.
These ambulances are equipped with high-end technology like GPS, wireless set, a comfortable bed to carry the injured, a walkie-talkie for the policemen, strips to control blood flow, basic first aid box, and a bed cover as well.
The motorbike ambulances of Gujarat are India’s first ever motorbike ambulance for tribals and will be operated by policemen.
Lodha Foundation, this year under the Lodha Charitable Trust, introduced free 24/7 bike ambulance service in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The bikes carry first aid kit along with other supplements like oxygen mask and cylinder.
The Maharashtra Government also has launched 10 motorbike ambulances as a pilot project to provide swift medical assistance to patients. Soon the project will be extended to more parts of the State as well.
On the 2nd of April 2018, a bike ambulance service was started in Shimla. It is one of the major cities in North India to execute this idea where a doctor will be accompanied by a paramedic to treat and provide first aid to the wounded person. The service will be first implemented in Shimla and based on the response will be carried out in other parts of Himachal Pradesh.
Volunteer Ambulance Operator (Award Winner)
Karimul Haque, a worker in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal was awarded Padma Shri in 2017 for his selfless efforts in helping the needy with his motorbike ambulance. He runs the bike ambulance for over 20 villages and has ferried over 3000-3500 people absolutely free of cost.
After recognition of the Govt., Karimul has started receiving more financial help and aims to help more and more people in the coming years.
He is fondly called “Bike – Ambulance – Dada”.
Here is the list of a few nations that also offer motorbike ambulance services:
- Hong Kong;
- The United Kingdom;
- The USA;
- Sudan etc.
It feels great to know that how a motorbike can be used as an ambulance to provide immediate medical relief, isn’t it?
Well, hats off to the Central and State Governments, policemen, paramedics, local staff and people like Karimul Haque for this great initiative. We do hope that the bike ambulance services are extended all across the country so that each and every citizen in India can get the right medical assistance in the shortest possible time.
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