On August 6, the Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) 108 ambulance got a call about a 28-year-old pregnant patient from Nesari village at Kolhapur, an area hit by the floods. She had to be urgently taken from the hospital at Nesari, where the woman had labour pains, and taken to another centre for a caesarean procedure.
All roads to Gadhinglaj were blocked and plans were made to shift the patient to a nearby town of Mahagaon. However, when the MEMS team was near Mahagaon, the bridge was underwater, said sources.
The ambulance could not pass through, and the driver Dinesh Gavali, as well as local residents, carried the woman through the flooded area on a stretcher. Sources said the patient was shifted with the help of a private vehicle to Sant Gajanan Hospital in Mahagaon, where she gave birth.
This was among many incidents that kept MEMS 108 ambulances working overtime, as they received 6,390 calls from flood-affected areas of Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Mumbai and Thane in the last four days. Starting August 4, the MEMS 108 ambulance has received an approximate 2,000 calls daily. The service received the highest number of calls from Pune (578), followed by Mumbai (573) and Kolhapur (307). This was followed by Sangli (152) and Ratnagiri (111), MEMS authorities said.
In another incident on August 5, at Sangli district, an MEMS 108 ambulance located at Shirala Rural Hospital received an emergency call from the relative of a patient who had suffered a snakebite and was referred for higher treatment to an intensive care unit.
Sources said the NH-4 was blocked due to waterlogging, so the ambulance pilot decided to go via Uchagaon road to Kolhapur. Here too the road was blocked due to waterlogging, but considering the emergency, the pilot drove through this road to pass on. The patient was later successfully handed over to a hospital in Kolhapur, they said.
Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, Chief Operating Officer at BVG India, told The Indian Express that due to the flood that has affected various parts of the state, they have have been in close coordination with the disaster management department.
“We have identified flood-prone areas accordingly and despite water-logging and other challenges, our ambulances are taking alternative routes to reach out to the patients,” he said.
The MEMS project, launched in 2014, is operated by BVG India Limited, which provides toll-free emergency medical access anywhere in the state. With 937 ambulances and over 5,000 EMS professionals including doctors, drivers and managers, over 42 lakh patients have called 108 ambulances in the last five years, said sources.
Citing other examples over the last few days, MEMS sources said that on August 4, there was a landslide at Goregaon East in Mumbai and two ambulances were sent. In another incident at Raigad district on August 5, MEMS received a call to attend to a patient who had been poisoned and had to be referred from Maangaon to Alibaug Civil Hospital.
Power restored in affected areas: MSEDCL
-With water levels receding, MSEDCL said it restored power supply in rural areas of Pune as well as affected areas in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad by Wednesday morning
-An MSEDCL statement said there were areas in Baner, Bopodi and Rasta Peth that hadn’t received power as 11 transformers that supplied them had been submerged
-Since Sunday evening, as many as 200 transformers were submerged. Sachin Talewar, Chief Engineer, Pune Zone of MSEDCL, said the staff worked 24/7 to restore power supply
-The affected areas included Aundh, Baner, Balewadi, Bavdhan, Khadki, Bopodi, Madhuban Colony, Pimple Gurav, Mulshi, Haveli, Urali Kanchan, Ashtapur, Rihe and Paud