The crew that received the call at 6.25 a.m., rushed to the village in an hour
A six-member crew of the 108 ambulance service on Monday attended the labour of a tribal woman near Sirumugai in Coimbatore district and took a coracle ride across a river to take the newborn to the nearest primary health centre.
The ambulance crew stationed at Mettupalayam received a call at 6.25 a.m. from Melur, a tribal village near Sirumugai.
Two ambulances were immediately dispatched to the location.
While the first ambulance took a forest route to the village, as the direct road to Melur was cut off after a bridge on the stretch at Lingapuram was submerged due to high water level in River Kanthayar, the second one was sent to Lingapuram where it was stopped on the banks of the river.
The second crew took a coracle ride to cross the river and reached the village on two-wheelers arranged by people who stood on the other side.
“The woman was in the advanced stage of labour when the first crew reached the place around 7.30 a.m. She gave birth to a boy baby as the crew was about to shift to her to the ambulance. The Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), who are trained to handle deliveries, attended the labour and took the child to the nearest PHC in a coracle,” said G. Vignesh, supervisor of 108 ambulance service in Mettupalayam region.
Ambulance pilot Nandagopal said the forest route to the village was around 5 km, whereas the distance to the village from the river was only 2 km. The woman, M. Deepa (27), was taken Sirumugai PHC in the ambulance after the crew shifted her baby. The mother and child were later shifted to Government Hospital, Mettupalayam.
S. Selvamuthukumar, GVK EMRI’s (which operates 108 ambulance service) programme manager for Coimbatore district, lauded the EMTs Ajith, Vijay, Mary, pilots Nandagopal, Arul Kumar and Sukumaran.
Residents of Kanthavayal and Melur have been demanding the government to construct a new bridge across River Kanthayar, which flows into Bhavani Sagar Reservoir, so the easy roads to their villages were not cut off when water level rises. Kanthayar swells when water level increases in the reservoir, which has vast water spread areas in Sirumugai.
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