Told in advance, ambulance driver kept his cool

 Devaraju S R, 25, appeared confident to face the shutterbugs as he entered BGS Hospital, after having driven the ambulance carrying it in 20 minutes flat, a distance of 24 km. 

The last time he achieved such a feat, he had all along thought he was driving the ambulance to the airport to pick up a VIP. He had successfully transported a heart from BGS Hospital to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in September. But this time, he had been told about the mission in advance.

Devaraju drove the ambulance on Saturday morning that carried the donor heart from M S Ramiah Memorial Hospital to BGS. He told Deccan Herald, “When I was given the roadmap, I told myself that it was important to keep my calm and I gave my best.”
Devaraju, who has four years of experience as a driver, was kept in the loop as the process began late on Friday evening.

“I got a call at about 6 pm on Friday and was asked to be prepared. At 3 am, I was asked to come to the hospital to transport a heart. We left at about 5 am and then on, it was a busy day transporting multiple organs,” he added. 

This time, it was a green corridor in the true sense. “The first time, policemen on a two-wheeler accompanied the ambulance and helped clear the path. This time, it was all the more efficient as a pilot vehicle was arranged for the purpose and roads were kept clear with no entry even for two wheelers along the corridor. It was perfect on Saturday,” he said.

On a normal day, he said that an ambulance would take at least one and half hours to cover that distance. However, it was the green corridor that cut down the time. “I maintained a speed of about 110 km per hour,” he said. He has been felicitated by the Rotary Club and has also been invited to participate in the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana.  

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