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Monday, December 08, 2008

Buses lack first-aid kits

CHENNAI: Accidents happen, always unexpectedly, and having a first-aid kit or disaster preparedness kit is just good common sense. However, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Villupuram, does not seem to think so.
Though licences are issued to drivers and conductors only after they undergo training on first-aid for a stipulated period, the first aid kits are missing in almost all of 3,200 buses operated by the TNSTC, Villupuram.
“What is the use of this training without the first aid boxes in buses?” asked a conductor who preferred anonymity.
He said, “Most of our buses do not have these vital boxes and nobody is even bothered about it.” In October this year, pandemonium prevailed in a Puducherry- bound TNSTC Villupuram bus, when a passenger had a seizure soon after the bus crossed Mamallapuram, on the East Coast Road.
While a few co-passengers came to his help, the rest turned towards the bus crew for medical assistance. However, the crew could only offer a piece of sharp edged iron rod that ultimately proved to be useless under the circumstances.They were unable to do anything further to help the passenger. The reason: the first aid box was missing.
Though first kid boxes are mandatory in every bus, only a few TNSTC buses are fitted with boxes stenciled with ‘First Aid’; however, these boxes are also empty.A typical first aid box should contain emergency materials such as a tincture bottle, cotton and some band-aids.
However, sources in the transport corporation claimed that first aid boxes with dressing kits are available in the newly introduced bus, but reality is in total contrast to their claims.
Paramasivam, MD of TNSTC Villupuram, said appropriate steps would be taken to provide first aid boxes.


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