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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Care on wheels for Rs 15 per hour

- Dhanbad hands over Rs 60-lakh cardiac ambulance to Red Cross

An ambulance, which had been lying idle on the premises of Dhanbad’s Patliputra Medical College and Hospital for the past two years, has finally been put to good use.

The district administration on Wednesday gave away a Rs 60-lakh state-of-the-art cardiac and trauma ambulance — procured by the state during the 34th National Games — to Indian Red Cross Society, Dhanbad chapter, on the occasion of World Red Cross Day.

Deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar handed over the keys to the society’s secretary P.K. Bhagat at a function at Red Cross Bhavan.

The ambulance, which was sent to Dhanbad during the Games, will now be at the service of local residents. With the charges fixed at a nominal Rs 15 per kilometre/per hour, it will be the cheapest air-conditioned ambulance in the district.

“Though the DC gave us the ownership documents on February 23, it took some time to bring the vehicle from the Hirapur premises of PMCH. The battery was down and several parts had to be changed as it had not been used for quite some time,” Bhagat said.

The ambulance is equipped with a defibrillator, cardiac monitor, oxygen supply system and ventilator besides suction machine, transportation splint kit, stretcher-cum-trolley, multiple straps and adjustable stretcher.

“Anyone needing the ambulance can call 09931165580, which belongs to the caretaker of Red Cross Bhavan, Sanjay Gupta. Once the driver of the ambulance gets a mobile phone, his number will be circulated too. However, the vehicle will be available on first- come-first-serve basis,” Bhagat said.

Red Cross Society, Dhanbad, already has one air-conditioned ambulance, which is a gift from Dhanbad-based NGO Raftar Foundation.

“We are trying to get another one from the State Bank of India. Discussions are in the final stage,” said Bhagat.

The society also handed over a cheque of Rs 20,000 to a rickshaw-puller of Matkuria area, who was raped by a home guard on April 30.