Warangal:108 staff take pride in their service
Even though they stay away from their families, the staff of 108, the free emergency response service, which captured the imagination of the citizens since its inception, takes pride in fighting against the spread of deadly coronavirus (Covid-19).
Warangal: Even though they stay away from their families, the staff of 108, the free emergency response service, which captured the imagination of the citizens since its inception, takes pride in fighting against the spread of deadly coronavirus (Covid-19).
It's been six weeks since the lockdown that started as the one-day Janata Curfew on March 22 was imposed. Battling out in the middle without any respite were the Covid-19 frontline warriors – medical, police, sanitation etc. while rest of the people are staying back to the comfort of their homes.
While the doctors, nurses and paramedics are grappling with the coronavirus cases, the 108 employees are sweating out in ferrying the Covid-19 positives, suspects and quarantined. It may be noted here that all the persons who were tested positive for coronavirus disease are being sent to Gandhi Hospital in Secunderabad. In addition to this, the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) of the 108 Service, who work round the clock in shifts, have the responsibility of shifting pregnant women to the hospitals.
The number of 108 services in erstwhile Warangal is 45. Of which 18 vehicles are being used for Covid-19 cases. So far, the 108 services have shifted 40 coronavirus patients to Gandhi Hospital. This apart, the vehicles have been used to shift suspected cases and quarantined persons.
"Dealing with Covid-19 positives and suspects is a risky proposition altogether compared to our standard routine job. Initially, I was scary but I got over it very quickly. We have been working day and night since the first case of coronavirus positive surfaced in the erstwhile Warangal district," an EMT, 108 Service, told The Hans India.
Another EMT said: "Being the first responders in times of emergency, we cannot shy away from the duties when everyone is scared of life-threatening coronavirus disease. The only disappointment is that we have to stay away from our families. Even though we are equipped with the personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitisers etc, we have to take care of our families from any danger of contracting with the Covid-19." Telangana State 108 Employee Union President P Ashok urged the government to announce the 10 per cent gross salary incentive to the staff like it announced to the sanitation workers.