Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal flagged off the free ambulance services over the weekend. Chief minister flagged off a group of 50 ambulances, which would be followed by 58 more ambulances by next two weeks.
"Agreement was done and project was named as Atal Swasthya Sewa Yojna," said Dhumal.
In the first phase 12 Advanced Life Support (ALS) and 38 Basic Life Support (BLS) free ambulance service have been started and is functional in seven districts including Shimla, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Una, Solan, Sirmour and Kangra in the State.
Till now 669 personnel have been trained for this in first phase, which includes 300 drivers, 300 emergency medical technicians, 4 doctors, 13 communication officers and 4 police personals.
Residents can easily dial 108 and call for an ambulance at the time of emergency. Call center facility has also been provided for the consultation.
Dhumal further said this service would reach in 35 minutes time to the patients in rural areas of the State and in 25 minutes in cities.
He said this has been started to reach the patients of the State and to provide them the desired medical service on time.
"Ambulance is equipped with air conditioner to keep the atmosphere cool in summers and warm in winters. Also it is filtered with public address system and will be manned by highly trained professionals. Driver will be called pilot with due respect to them and they have been trained to provide medical assistance," said Dhumal.
The government has started this ambulance service in co-ordination with a non-profit society. The cost to start this would be Rs 18 crore.
The annual expenditure to run this service would be over Rs 14 crore. By Hemant Chauhan.