| Chief minister Tarun Gogoi launches the helpline during a function in Dispur on Wednesday. Telegraph picture |
Guwahati, Oct. 17: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today launched the 108 integrated emergency helpline, making Assam the first state to have a single-point access to all emergency services like health, police and fire brigade, among others.
Speaking at the inaugural function at the secretariat conference hall here, Gogoi said the 108 emergency service had already boosted the state’s health services, especially in cases related to accidents and pregnancy.
“The 108 ambulance service has become very popular in the state and now, its network has been further widened by encompassing other services like police and fire brigade,” he said.
The chief minister said the helpline would provide the much-needed impetus to people living in far-flung and interior areas, including hilly regions. “The integrated service will go a long way in providing timely relief to people in exigencies.”
The launch was jointly organised by Assam State Disaster Management Authority and National Rural Health Mission, Assam, in collaboration with GVK-EMRI.
Revenue and disaster management minister Prithivi Majhi said the service would give the common man fast access to emergency services like healthcare, police and fire brigade, among others.
Health and family welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the 108 service under NRHM had been rendering yeoman service in the health sector and the integrated service would further tone up health and other emergency services.
“The launch of the integrated service will help the poorest of the poor get access to health and disaster related emergency services,” he added.
Sarma said 100 small ambulances had been pressed into service for hill areas under the 108 service. Another fleet of ambulances would be deployed shortly for referral cases, he added.
The health department has been designated as a nodal department for implementing the helpline service, as it has been partnering GVK-EMRI in managing the 108 ambulance service.
Altogether 655 police and fire stations have been connected to EMRI call centre while 4,355 emergency response personnel of fire brigade and police have been trained for this purpose.