Pune: Most of the private ambulances engaged on contractual basis in Pimpri-Chinchwad city are found misusing their privilege by violating the siren norms.
Private ambulances have been assigned the task of transporting Covid-19 positive patients. They are not tasked for transporting patients with high risk, critical patients or deceased patients. Ventilators, oxygen, PPE kits are not provided in private ambulances. There is only a stretcher. Only two and three relatives are allowed in the ambulance to travel along with the patient.
However, there is no control over the ambulances that work for private hospitals designated as dedicated Covid-19. Currently, ambulances operating in the city are run by 30 per cent by owners and 50 per cent by employed drivers. Long-distance ambulances are travelling safely without sirens as GPS tracker is fitted in those ambulances. On the other hand, ambulances in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Chakan, Khed, Mahalunge and Balewadi areas are violating the rules.
Misuse of privilege
No one has any idea whether the ambulance on the road is actually carrying a patient or not. RTO or police officials usually do not stop ambulances to check them. Instead, the ambulance is given a free pass. Some ambulance drivers are sounding sirens even while the roads are empty.
An ambulance owner from Kasarwadi said, "There are some new ambulance drivers in the city who sound the siren frequently. However, none of those drivers who have experience of more than 20 years does that. They don't even need to. Citizens cooperate when they just see an ambulance. One should sound the siren only if the patient is having shortness of breath or there is an emergency situation for pregnant women patients."
Society Residents say…
Ambulances are entering societies sounding sirens for no reason. The loud sound of the siren reveals the exact location of the patient's house in a large residential complex. Therefore, ambulance drivers need to exercise precaution while picking up suspected patients.
Atul Ade, Deputy Regional Transport Officer of Pimpri-Chinchwad said, "We have the task of checking the documents and issuing permissions for ambulance vehicles. We usually don't stop ambulances on the road for checking and thus it becomes difficult to ascertain whether any ambulance driver is violating the rules."
Number of ambulances
• YCM - 14
• 108 ambulance service - 11
• Private Service providers for YCM - 80
• Private hospitals - more than a hundred
Rules for Ambulance
• The siren should not be used without the permission of the patient's relative
• Ban on siren used between 10 pm to 6 am
• RTO and police officials can take action if decibel norms are violated
• Only an ambulance sticker can suffice
• Permitted siren decibel range is 110 to 120