Unsung warriors: Ambulance drivers playing key role in fight against COVID-19
Rajouri: In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not only the health workers and doctors who are taking the lead, but the ambulance drivers, who are always on the move to attend medical emergencies, are also at the forefront of the battle.
The ambulance drivers play a key role in shifting the Covid-19 patients from their residences or quarantine centres to the designated covid care hospitals within or outside the district, risking their lives.
The role of ambulance drivers in mountainous districts like Rajouri is of great significance. Faced with the shortage of ambulances and manpower amid the spike of Covid cases in the district, they work for prolonged shifts to reach out to the critical patients and shift them to the designated covid care hospital. The tough geographical condition of the district and motivating the family members for admitting the patients in the hospital makes the whole process more tedious.
Mohammad Sayeed, the driver of the Ambulance provided by the BGBSU exclusively for Covid patients, shared his experience of working amid the ragging second wave.
“I work as an ambulance driver in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. The rise in positive cases amid the second wave put the district administration and all others associated with covid management and treatment on the toes as the first and foremost priority is to facilitate the patients,” he said adding the transportation of critical patients is the most important part in the process.
“To facilitate the patients the District administration constituted a 24*7 control room and contact numbers of all Ambulance drivers have been provided to the control room, who contact us for ferrying those in distress,” said Mohammad Sayeed.
He very clearly recalled that one day early in the morning he received a call from the control room to shift the patient, “the person on the phone said the patient is serious and you have to come as fast as you can.”
“On reaching the place of destination, I was surprised to see the Deputy Commissioner and team of officers standing there, while the patient had already been shifted,” he said with remorse. “The Deputy Commissioner told me that I was late and advised me that the timing for an ambulance driver is most important as he has to shift the patients to the hospitals in the shortest possible time,” he said.
Sayeed added that till date he has ferried nearly 31 bodies and around 129 critical covid positive patients from different locations to the GMC Rajouri.
He also said working amid the prevailing health crisis the only objective in one’s mind is to save the life of a patient and handing over the dead body to the family at the right time. “I drove the ambulance during Ramadan while fasting and feel that the efforts I put in saving someone’s life or facilitating the family members of the deceased to give their loved one a dignified cremation or burial was the best charity I could have ever made during the holy month,” said an emotional Mohd Sayeed.
“When a person tests positive even his or her family members fear to go near the patient. Sometimes, if the patient is bed-ridden or not in a condition to move, we ourselves have to go inside the house and shift the patient to the ambulance,’’ said Mohammad Sayeed.
“Once I also helped a family in arranging the cremation pyre because the relatives were afraid of getting infected. A dead and unborn person has no religion,” he added.
He also recalled that even on the EID Day he lifted a critical positive patient from remote village of Rajouri to GMC Rajouri for treatment adding “I am happy that he is in good health now.”
“This is a tough time and this too shall pass, and I appeal to all the Public that the fight against this invisible enemy can be won only by patience and by adopting covid behaviour,” he suggested.