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Ambulence Service - Pizza Delivery Faster than Ambulence

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Public Health

 Yesterday I had a very bad day. Myself and my aged grand mother aged 81 were only at home. My Grand mother suddenly developed continous  convolutions / fits which didn't stop at all even after giving iron to her hand and she had totally became unconcious. No one was there nearby my home whom I knew as it was afternoon and everyone had left to the office. I called up 108 for ambulence service before calling any of the family members, but the questionaire that they started to ask was so long in a tense situation - It is like a cell phone company survey type.

I told them I am calling from Kattriguppe Bangalore and  I need an Ambulence urgently and gave them the land mark. He is asking which Village, which Hobli, which Taluk,  from how many days she is suffering from this, what medicines she takes etc.. I am all alone at home and ended up wasting time, at that time convultions are increasing more and more, I asked him just take the land mark and provide us the ambulence, we will consult with the doctor, but the guy says he cannot book until I finish the questionaire and asking me to co-operate to finish the questionaire.

I got frustated and quit the call, called other family members, my mother came, she retried and got the same questionaire again.  I thought of going to a nursing home nearby,( Vinayaka Nursing Home) and bring the ambulence since I did not had the number ( a lesson to be learnt to save the ambulence and hospital numbers nearby home) and was not in a mood to make other calls and waste the time. Unfortunately ambulence had gone to bring another patience and they had only one.   They gave me a number I called that. He took nearly  45 minutes to turnup while we were about to take her by car. I was waiting near the nursing home since the ambulence guy has to search address. That guy was coming so lethargically without putting on the siren.

 Vinayaka nursing home doesn't have ICU and recommended us to take to KR hospital nearby. 

Ambulence didn't had anyone else other than driver, no oxygen, forget A/C. It was a tempo traveller with a stretcher and siren, that's all.  So poor state. He charged 700 rupees for mere 2 kms and the driver is asking for tips - I shouted for what sort of service should I provide you the tips.

We admitted to KR Hospital, she is in ICU and has stabilized.

Lessons to be learnt are to keep the ambulence numbers of nearest hospital handy somewhere near the landline phone if we have one. 

Poor service of 108, we cannot rely on them due to their long questionaire.  Pizza delivery is faster than ambulences in our state since they do not have any SLA whatsoever.  



kbsyed61's picture

Vasanth, indeed it is heartening!

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Sorry to hear about your grandmother's hospitalization. On behalf of Praja, we wish her a speedy recovery.

It is very heartening to hear the pathetic state of our first response services. I think in our governance and for our law makers, such things comes last in the priorities.

Any insight into who regulates or what norms rules this service?


idontspam's picture


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 A government doctor, who did not want to be named, says, “There are no rules that govern the working of these private ambulances. Who gives them permission to run as ambulances? Some private ambulances do not even have basic facilities like oxygen cylinder but they still run as ambulances mainly to reap tax benefits and make money by carrying corpses.” 


Naveen's picture

Avoid ambulance!

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Thanks for sharing yr experience with details. Moral of the story: avoid using ambulance, so far as possible. I think we only have ourselves to blame - the lengthy questionnaire is probably because there are many who would misuse the facility.

In an urgent situation, it's best to use whatever is nearest /easiest, & that usually is a private car.

kbsyed61's picture

@Vasanth, I am game for digging information!

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Hope your grandmother is doing fine now. Once she is back at home, would appreciate some initiative from you.

To unravel the mystery of ambulance service in Bengaluru, I am game for asking BBMP, State health Services some questions pertaining to the ambulance services in Bengaluru and across the state.


Ravi_D's picture

Sorry to hear... Found this

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Sorry to hear...

Found this article that says:

i. The dispatcher can ask you additional questions such as specific question relating to the medical problem a patient is having. These questions are asked in order to provide the ambulance crew a clear concise picture as what is occurring at the scene. This DOES NOT delay the ambulance would be on the way while you are on the phone.

Wonder if it is indeed true. I'm trying, but haven't been able to reach EMRI (provider of 108 service) to confirm yet.

Ravi_D's picture

EMRI (108) - Offer to meet-up

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Reached one Ms Kritika @ EMRI. She's going to send us some info on the process, and offered to meet with us to show and explain 108's workings. Vasanth - you are specially invited. Will post as soon as I hear more.

Game for a meet-up?

idontspam's picture

Equipment standards

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and offered to meet with us to show and explain 108's workings

Along with process it will be good to ask/check if they adhere to these guidelines on Ambulance euipment from Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Please take a print of these and hand over to them. You can also do a quick visual check of an ambulance and mark how many of the 33 are present in it. It can give us a quick percentage of non compliance.

I am 100% sure they wont have the hazmat guidebooks as it is a copy/paste from US handbooks :) Such is our attention to making laws

Ravi_D's picture

Meeting Notice

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See Here

Vasanth's picture

Thanks Everyone

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Thanks everyone. Hi Ravi, thanks for the initiative to meet Krithika. I am game for it.

I would like to know the process being followed and the ways to avoid frustation  / testing patience for the person requesting ambulance. Also, it would be helpful if we have a doctor (at least basic level) who can guide us what to do in such a situation as first aid .

Meanwhile good news is my Grandmother recovered and had a lengthy 1 day convolution, but still in ICU for monitoring purpose.



murali772's picture

wait a minute!

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Please read about my happy experience here

Muralidhar Rao
Ravi_D's picture

See here for the Meeting

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See here for the Meeting Notes

Ambulance Service in Bangalore

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I read Vasanth's experince of 180 service.Couple of years back my father (90 years) suddenly fell ill on a public holiday and his pulse was almost zero and the attending neighbourhood doctor urged me to take him to a hospital.I live in Indiranagar and called CMH for an ambulance.They said none availabl and I remembered 1062 sanjivini and called them.Bang within 10 minutes they were in front of the house and moved my father to the hospital and saved him. I don.t know why this efficient service never gets the publicity it deserves.My attempt to pay some money to the attendents were politely refused and the entire service is free.

vivekcs's picture

Oh Pls!  keeping iron in a

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Oh Pls!  keeping iron in a patients hand when he/she gets and epileptic attack(fits) is a myth... 

instead of searching for an iron piece u could have searched for the phone directory or called up ur relatives for information

As far as i know, 108 service number is statewide number  and is centralized, calls form villages to towns connected to this center hence forth they asked u hobli, taluk and stuff....

the best possible thing is to hire an auto, taxi and rush to hospital... Ambulance take the time because it has to wade through the traffic, squeeze through narrow roads and find that particular house and rush back... 


Wishing ur Grand Mother for a speedy recovery..


Vasanth's picture

Same Experience like Me with another Person - Shared on SOM

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Yesterday I witnessed an accident on Mysore-Madikeri road. It was a mild collision between two two-wheelers with one coming on the wrong side of the road. One of the young men on the bike, I don't know if he was the rider or the pillion rider, was knocked unconscious after falling and developed convulsions.

Since my wife is a doctor, we stopped to provide some assistance. Meanwhile, I called 108 for ambulance and the operator on the other end started asking which taluk in Mysore and which area and road and such questions and I did not know what to reply as the location was new to me. By then, some good samaritan offered to take the injured in his car to the nearest hospital. After I hung up the call, my phone rang again and the operator at the other end asked me the same question.

My question is, with modern technology, why can't they pin-point the location of the caller on the map with signal from mobile and send despatch immediately, instead of asking question on location, as I am sure this technology is available.

I understand the present system has only a caller ID. Please implement this system wherein the operator knows exactly where we are calling from, in case of emergency and send despatch immediately, as we callers ourselves may be in a state of shock after witnessing such an incident.

—Umesh Vijayaraman

Mysore 17.5.2012


This was shared on Star of Mysore, Mysore comment guidelines

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