Chopper ambulances for forces fighting Naxals

The government will provide specialised helicopter ambulance service to more than 70,000 troops of paramilitary forces deployed to undertake anti-Naxal operations.

Last Updated: Jul 06, 2011, 15:35 PM IST

New Delhi: The government will provide specialised helicopter ambulance service to more than 70,000 troops of paramilitary forces deployed to undertake anti-Naxal
operations.

According to sources, based on a feasibility report
prepared by the Union Home Ministry, it has been decided to
deploy air ambulances at three "strategic" theatres of
operations – Left-wing extremism, combating insurgents in the
Northeast and countering militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

"A squad of specialist doctors and paramedical staff
will also be trained and deployed on these helicopters to
evacuate and rush troops of CRPF, BSF, ITBP, SSB and state
police forces deployed in the Naxal affected areas of the
country," a top officer privy to the development said.

The helicopter fleet will either be taken on lease or
initially a few choppers in the present fleet of BSF air wing
would be converted as air ambulances, the officer said.

The air facility will be run by the medical wing of the
Home Ministry with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
acting as the nodal agency amongst all the forces.

According to senior officials, the maximum number of
sorties undertaken by helicopters in Naxal affected states are
to extricate injured personnel or patrol parties.

"In such cases, time is the most crucial factor. A
helicopter extricates the injured personnel and flies him to
the nearest hospital. With the introduction of an air
ambulance service, the injured can be treated on-board or kept
on life support system before rushing him to the nearest
speciality hospital," the officer said.

PTI