All 51 vehicles of the 1298 Ambulance Service were driven up to the Grant Medical College Grounds near Chowpatty on Marine Drive on October 8 for a function at which the emergency service was formally launched with some fanfare.
Dr. Anand Somaya reported that of the 51 vehicles that pulled up at the venue, 12 ambulances had been donated by the Rotary Club of Bombay.
All the ambulances had been painted in special colours and had been equipped with the requisite medical paraphernalia. The chief guests on the occasion were two young Members of Parliament from Bombay, Ms Priya Dutt and Mr. Milind Deora. The Sheriff of Bombay, (Dr.) Indu Shahani, chaired the function. Others present were President Ashish, PP Harry Singh Arora, Trilochan Singh Sahney and a few other members of the Club.
Speaking on the occasion, (Dr.) Indu Shahani referred to the significant work done by all participants in the 1298 project and of how the 1298 call centre had helped her greatly by providing free service to the Sheriff.s Helpline for Women.
The statistics of the number of patients transported by the 1298 Ambulance Service and the number of women helped in their hour of need by various NGOs providing free psychiatric and counselling services were quite astounding.
A surprise speaker at one of the Club meetings was Ms Kareena Zaveri, who is associated with Ambulance Access for All (she is the daughter of Harshbeena and the granddaughter of Trilochan Sahney). She said that Ambulance Access for All, which ran the 1298 emergency ambulance service in Bombay, had started a new project called .First Responders. programme to impart training in first aid and CPRS (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to lay persons.
The training would be provided by a team of doctors.
The programme would train participants in what to do in the first few minutes after an emergency or accident. Those first minutes, before a doctor or an ambulance arrived on the scene, were extremely critical because the steps taken during those moments could help save a person.s life.
Ambulance Access for All was prepared to take its new project to schools, housing societies and so on and to arrange programmes at their premises, Ms Zaveri added.