Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Petition in HC asks for appointmen­t of trained paramedics

- Richa Banka richa.banka@htlive.com

NEWDELHI: A petition filed in the Delhi High Court says 70% of the assistant ambulance officers (AAO) who would be riding the Delhi government’s recently launched motorcycle ambulances are more than 50 years of age and are not trained paramedics, and demands the appointmen­t of qualified people as drivers.

A bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice V Kameswar Rao sought the Delhi government’s and the Centralise­d Accident and Trauma Services’ (CATS) stand on the plea by advocate Satakshi Verma, who said the decision to launch first responding vehicles lacks research and data.

The plea, filed through advocate Kamlesh Kumar, quoted an RTI reply that reportedly said the AAOS, who would be riding the bikes have no requisite qualificat­ion to be paramedics.

The petitioner said the decision to appoint AAOS as drivers is being questioned by its own employees on the grounds that the government had not recruited special cadre to man the scheme. It said they were relying on the existing AAOS, 70% of whom are above 50 years of age.

Head of CATS, LR Garg, said the personnel were all trained. “All the personnel riding the bike ambulances have been given a nine-month in-house training, covering all basic firstaid techniques, including providing CPR and oxygen therapy. They received training in riding bikes and communicat­ing with patients and relatives. Their role is the same as what they were doing in normal ambulances. The bike ambulances have been designed to provide care on site in congested areas where ambulances will take longer to reach. They do not have to transport the patients, so age should not be an issue,” said Garg.

The public interest litigation (PIL) said because of the size and performanc­e, a motorcycle ambulance is able to respond to a medical emergency much faster but trained personnel are required to meet such as situation.

“In case of medical emergency; efficient, energetic and trained personnel are required to respond to the situation. It is submitted that complicati­ons may occur in emergency situation and cases of severe trauma or internal bleeding may require surgical interventi­on,” the plea read.

The petition stated the existing CATS ambulances are unable to cater to the rising requiremen­t of such facilities in an overcrowde­d city like Delhi.

It said the FRV scheme did not match internatio­nal parameters and would not meet requiremen­ts if it is launched without proper manpower/special cadre to run the scheme. The matter will be heard on May 2.

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