Long Before Dial-108, This IPS Brought Hotline To Highways
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 18 May 2023, 4:23 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- IPS officer Dr Amar Kumar Pandey began Jeevan Raksha Kendra in 1996 in Dharwad
- It provided quick response and best pre-hospital care in emergencies much before 108 came
- The 1989 batch IPS had also brought back long-time fugitive don Ravi Pujari to India
- Dr. Pandey is an IPS officer of 1989 and Karnataka cadre
For many years Indians had to dial 100, 101 and 102 separately, if they needed police, fire or medical helps. It was not until 2005, that Dial 108 was launched to provide an integrated emergency helpline. But do you know, an IPS officer brought emergency services on highways back in the 1990s.
IPS Dr Amar Kumar Pandey who retired as Director General of Police (Karnataka) spoke to Indian Masterminds about his initial days in service much before he brought back infamous gangster Ravi Pujari.
AMBULANCE SERVICE ON HIGHWAYS
The Dharwad district approximately 425 km from Bengaluru has the NH4 crisscrossing it for about 250 km. In the 1990s traffic would move on the then two-lane highway without any divider.
Hundreds of lives were lost each year in accidents. Victims waited hours till police reached the spot and they were moved into hospitals. The golden hour was lost.
Many such incidents disturbed Dr. Pandey who was SP, Dharwad in 1996.
He set up emergency centres Jeevan Raksha Kendra on the highway, with the help of local MPs (the district came under four parliamentary constituencies).
“My team procured four Maruti Omni vans turned into ambulances, starting with the first one from the police department. Twelve policemen were trained in St John’s Ambulance Drills,” he shared.
A veteran army man, who had joined police, was put in charge to train the other police personnel. The next concern was telephone connection.
An STD Booth for making calls to inform next of kin was set up in the police control room. Information from spot via wireless to CR operator would reach the victim’s family by phone.
Explaining each role, the retired officer said, “The trained cops could distinguish between serious and non-serious injuries and accordingly hastened treatment. The hospitals along the highway were enlisted. They were to extend emergency on SOSes from police CR.”
Advance intimation to hospitals ensured staff were prepared with necessary logistics including doctors. This saved many lives.
Soon Jeevan Raksha Kendra was duplicated in Belgaum and Mandya districts of Karnataka.
It was the precursor to 108 that came almost a decade later, but the officer doesn’t claim it was picked from Jeevan Raksha Kendra.
Dr Pandey came from Bihar and served for 33 years in Karnataka. He enjoyed his time as police officer in the southern state.
For him there are many similarities in both the state besides, the people, who are generous and compassionate. He cherishes his tenure in undivided Dharwad as SP.
With the government’s help he had also set up a police children residential school. It was the first of its kind boarding school for children of policemen.
He had also established a residential colony based on cooperative model for the police personnel, who named it after him as Amar Nagar.
The officer, who struck fear in hearts of many gangster and also served as Commissioner Youth Affairs and Sports, Director Police Academy, Inspector General of Bangalore (Central) and Additional Director General of Internal Security Division, says as an officer his work brought him immense satisfaction.
END OF THE ARTICLE