Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ambulance Etiquette - Do We Chennaites Even Care ?

Posting here after a break of one whole week, remember me talking about hectic schedules at college in this post, its happening.

I've been waiting to write about this incident right from yesterday evening,it was around 7 and i was on my way to Moore Market with my sis, had to take the P.H road from my place (Poonamallee High Road) to get there. Near the Taylor's road intersection we caught up with this Ambulance going in the same direction as us( we later found the ambulance was on its way to the GH opposite Central Station), the traffic on P.H road around that time makes the whole distance a bumper to bumper ride( a fender to fender ride for me on my scoot ) all the way. The ambulance was trying to get through all this traffic, its sirens and the lights were on, but even then that made no difference. Everyone else on the road was being totally indifferent to the ambulance, no one cared to give way for the ambulance to pass, no one even budged a bit ( even the cops just stood and let this crap happen). In the end the ambulance ended up waiting at every single intersection uptill the hospital and not once did anyone bother to give way. I know nothing about the patient inside the ambulance yesterday, i have no idea if he lived, or .. But i'm sure he could've reached the hospital a good 30 mins early if it hadn't been for the sic motorists. Now is this the kind of ambulance etiquette we chennaites have ?

Infact the situation yesterday was even worse,with a bunch of two-wheelers trying to overtake the ambulance and a few other vehicles started riding in the ambulance's slipstream to escapeall the traffic. In the end the situation was like this - the ambulance tries to go ahead ( the driver keeps honking all the time, looking around for a free lane), the motorists in front (instead of pulling over to make way ) tried using the ambulance behind them to get through the traffic by trying to stay ahead of it all the time ( and were blocking the ambulance), and a few others trying to stay in the ambulance's slipstream ended up on either side of the ambulance thereby totally boxing it in ( you've played NFS Most wanted ? During the heat level 4 cop chases , these tiny corvettes appear from nowhere and then start boxing you in from all four sides, remember ? And then you get BUSTED !! That was the situation yesterday evening ). Just imagine someone related to you is in a similar situation ( in an ambulance), how will you take it if the arseholes on the road decide not to make way for the ambulance with your bro or sis in it.

A little bit of effort from you can make a huge difference in someone else's life, so every one reading this, you should start practic a good ambulance etiquette( includes all emergency vehicles like firetrucks etc, if possible try your tricks with political convoys or cop cars) , next time when you hear sirens and see lights in your RVM, you know what to do- find a way to pull over immediately and make way for the emergency vehicle.

Always remember - Give Emergency Vehicles right of way.

Few stats:

In the year 2003 ( stats available only till then), a total of 16,109 Fire calls were received in the state.

In 2002 and 2003, there were 4881 and 5219 rescue calls respectively.3,903 human lives were saved in the rescue calls in the year 2003.

During the year 2003, ambulances were requisitioned on 1590 occasions. ( this is the number of calls on the govt helpline, a good number of calls are attended by the private ambulance services. A search brings up over 33 private ambulance services in Chennai )

Worth reading :

A project to find optimal routes for ambulances in Chennai ( Very old link).
Fire and rescue services department - Policy note ( 2004)

10 ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

ela said...

may be instead of u if shreya appears on the TV and tells this to our people, may be during the programme on the next festival, it could be possible..... who cares, if good has to happen we can give it a try...

Guru said...

Nah i don't think .. You think people listen when Shreya comes on TV ?

And still (IMO) no amount of awareness ( you're talking bout' doing that right ?) will make people any better at this, they need take this decision themselves.

VIJAY a.k.a VJ said...

Please don't ask sreya to have a little pep talk on a social awareness topic like this.I wouldn't be listening :)

@guru: Social awareness huh!!wont work dude...not with the chennaiites..You think they are unawares???These bastards do it by will....The only way to teach these assoles a lesson is to chop their heads off...Nothing else would work

Yayathy said...

I agree with what vijay says, Unless the punishment levels are increased people will continue to do these.

Guru!! These motorists never follow even the signal rules, Do you think that they will change......?

Yayathy said...

I agree with what vijay says, Unless the punishment levels are increased people will continue to do these.

Guru!! These motorists never follow even the signal rules, Do you think that they will change......?

Guru said...

@Vijay: That was my point too, social awareness will not work, not with us.

And we are on the same frequency, initially i wrote ' i felt like putting a bullet through each one's head' . But later removed it cos' i felt that did not sound right.

But on a more serious note, some kind of a awareness ( or a remainder )needs to be there, i'm sure a scheme that puts across the message in a very personal way could make a difference ( at least a little ). Maybe just enough for the patient to get to the hospital in time.

What pisses me off now, is the importance given to politicians, remember the situation during the Pondy ride, When Karuna thatha ( mama ? ) was given the right of way ? The whole road was cleared for one MF, and there were so many cops on their toes, all in their best behavior. Same cops don't fcuking budge when an ambulance is struggling to find way. Is the life of the common man any less important that the CM's ?

*Sajith* said...

If it was a politician, we can see the ambulance boxed by thugs.. I've seen it.. They clear the road in a different way.. they try to scare away people by shouting and hitting the vehicles.. No matter how congested the traffic is, it gets cleared.. From my point, it works only to politicians and celebrities..

Social awareness will not work..

ela said...

Ok.....my idea was that when shreya comes and talks, people esp guys won't think too much and just listen and do things as she says.....

so u guys say that it won't work haah....i never thought that there would be total shut down of brains....ok we have to resort to violence then!

Guru said...

You don't understand, let me explain how it works.

Shreya says something = we do it.

But who listens to what she says, when she is on TV ?

Maybe we could wrap her up before putting her on TV, then no one will bother tuning in.

Vicious circle..

VIJAY a.k.a VJ said...

@ela: remember the women:bitch:man:?topic??
As i said ,its a basic "man instinct".....

 
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