Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of the state of Kerala, officially launched the much awaited The Trauma Rescue Initiative (TRI), a life-saving ambulance service network in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, May 11th, 2018. The new initiative was launched in association with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Kerala Branch, the Kerala Police, and the Dr. Ramesh Kumar Foundation, based in the United States.
“We have pledged Rs. One Crore for RAMU service and almost half of the money has already been paid to IMA. Our aim is to help the needy, the nature, and help keep the legacy and the fond memories of our beloved son, Dr. Ramesh Kumar (RAMU),” said Dr. Narendra Kumar, past President of AKMG/AAPI and a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Recipient. “In case the patient is unable to pay for the services, IMA with the help of Dr. Ramesh Kumar Foundation will provide the financial assistance. I am happy that this project has come into effect all over the Stat from today.”
The Chief Minister launched the prestigious Accident Rescue initiative at the CM’s Conference Room in the presence of the State Director General of Police Loknath Behera; Inspector General Manoj Abraham; Kerala State MLA and famous Cine Actor Mukesh; Personal Secretary to the CM, Jayaraj; IMA Kerala State Branch President Dr. E K Ummer; Secretary Dr. N. Sulphi; Dr. Marthandapillai; Dr. Sreejith N. Kumar; Dr. John Panicker; Sister of Dr Narendra R Kumar, Dr. Syamala Kumari; Dr. Sunoj and Dr. Danish Salim, who helped develop the software.
The Chief Minister released the helpline number 9188 100100 linked to the state-wide network of ambulances. About 1000 ambulances have been registered with the scheme across the state during the first phase of the online network. These ambulances will be visible on the police web portal.
Under the initiative, ambulance services as well as trauma medical centers, both private and government in the city, will be networked. The project will be first implemented in the capital city on a trial basis. Ten trauma care hospitals have been included in the project and ambulance drivers have been given training.
TRI is using the software, web portal and app developed by PRS hospital emergency department head Dr. Danish Salim. The entire network is known as Ambulances Networking System with emergency Response (ANSWER). The number 9188100100 is operating out of Cantonment police station in Thiruvananthapuram. To ensure 24/7 response on this number, IMA has appointed three persons exclusively for handling distress calls. Ambulance drivers have been given training by the IMA and police department for using the online service.
Once the call goes to 9188 100 100, the staff at police control room will locate the nearest available ambulance from among those linked to the network. Once the ambulance is located, the police will pass on the message, contact number and address to the driver. Soon the ambulance will reach the place and take the patient to the nearest hospital.
The police control rooms have a special portal which gives the real-time location of ambulances close to the accident spot. Similarly, there will be separate mobile applications for ambulance drivers and hospitals to manage the distress calls. The applications can identify various types of available ambulances such as the ICU equipped ones in a particular area. During the next phase, a mobile app will created on the lines of Uber app whereby the users would be able to seek service directly. The project is quite significant considering the fact that on an average 11 persons die and 120 sustain grievous to minor injuries in road accidents in the state daily.
According to the IMA, in the first phase, around 1,000 ambulances plying in the state will be included in the network. IMA also is working towards developing a mobile app for availing the service of the ambulance network in which a person can easily send an alert to the nearest ambulance service available via the app. “Those who dial 9188 100 100 will first be connected to Thiruvananthapuram City Police Control Room. Upon locating the distress call it will be redirected to the nearest ambulance driver available,” said Sulphi.
In the case of the proposed mobile app, the IMA secretary said once an ambulance driver receives an alert, the app will show the place and the direction to reach there. It will also show a list of hospitals near the accident or emergency spot.
Friends and family of Michigan-based Indian American physician Dr. Ramesh Kumar, set up the Foundation in his name to help make medical treatment more affordable for people in financial need. The Dr. Ramesh Kumar Foundation was created in honor of the urology resident at Henry Ford Hospital to continue his generosity. Kumar was known for his largesse, once paying for the surgery of a woman he didn’t know, friends said.
The Ramesh Kumar Foundation is dedicated to eliminating the barriers of the financial burden on individuals and families in need of medical treatment and also advocating for programs of medical research and education.
The Indian American doctor was the son of Dr. Narendra Kumar, former president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, and Meenakshi ‘Minni’ Kumar. More information about the foundation can be found at www.drrameshkumarfoundation.org.