Kollam: Organised emergency medical care, especially for accident victims, is almost non-existent in the country, though a few initiatives have been made in a few states. In Kollam, an individual has made a beginning in this regard by organising volunteers and arranging ambulances.
Ajeesh Surendran, a Kottarakara native, launched the ERT or Emergency Response Team after a tragedy involving his friend. The latter lost his life unattended in an accident in 2013.
Recalling the tragedy, Ajeesh said his friend was knocked down by a vehicle and was bleeding on the road for several minutes, without anyone offering help. By the time other friends and I knew about it and managed to take him to a hospital, he was lost, he said.
“I felt no one should have such a fate again. That is what prompted me to register ERT,” Ajeesh reasoned.
The ERT vans -- Gypsy models -- carrying volunteers were a familiar sight during the recent flood. They are also seen at accident spots here. Private citizens as well as government departments can summon the ERT anytime, which has a 28-strong volunteer force. They are also called to train school and college students.
“The first major test was the Chennai floods of 2015,” Ajeesh recalled. “That exposed us to a calamity area.”
Currently, Ajeesh and the ERT are ready in Kollam after the district fire and rescue officer called him as a cyclone is feared on Kerala coast.