'It was dark and raining heavily, we could hear a girl crying for help'

'It was dark and raining heavily, we could hear a girl crying for help'

Training in CPR for personnel with police control room vans has helped save lives

Many people see police control room vans as the first response of police against crime, but they are equipped to handle many eventualities.

They are a number of examples where a PCR van has taken the role of a fire tender and an ambulance, apart from just being a mobile crime prevention unit.

“We have equipped PCR vans with tools and gadgets which will help them in handling any type of emergency situation which the citizens can face. We are constantly upgrading the gadgets to make the response quick and effective,” says Commissioner of Delhi Police, B S Bassi.

Sometimes, it involves a risk to life.

On June 22, PCR van S-29 from the North Zone was patrolling near Geeta Colony on a rainy morning with constables Harender, Amar Singh and head constable Hari Singh in it. Around 4.30 am, they heard a woman crying for help.

“It was dark and raining heavily, but we could still hear a girl’s cry coming from behind the bushes. We stopped the van and two of us, went to the spot. We saw a girl of 22-23 years in a 15-foot ditch crying for help,” says constable Harender.

 “We were unable to reach her hands as the pit was deep, so we decided to make a rope out of our shirts. All three of us removed our shirts and trousers and made a rope out of it by tying them together.

We then threw it towards the girl, with one end being firmly under our grip. The surface was slippery and the weight of the girl was dragging all of us in the pit, but we didn’t give up and applied all our energy, and eventually pulled her up,” Harender recalls.

Doctor cops
The girl was said to be mentally disturbed and had run away from home, and then fallen in the ditch. The department recognised the PCR staff’s act, and rewarded them with Rs 10,000 each.

In another case three police personnel in a PCR van turned doctors to help a woman deliver a baby at a railway station.

“On September 5 this year, PCR van number Z-43 received a call that a woman is in labour pain at Palam railway station. On receiving the call we reached the spot in five minutes,” says constable Bhagwati.

 “We put her on a stretcher and asked some women standing there to surround the pregnant woman with a chunni to block the scene from rest of the people.”

After five minutes the woman delivered a baby girl, but those attending on her could see that there was a twin waiting to be born. The police personnel put the stretcher with the woman on it into the van.

“It took us 25 more minutes to reach the Dada Dev hospital where she delivered her second child,” Bhagwati says.

Many PCR personnel are trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation), and that has helped save lives.

On Friday,  PCR van K-66 of South East Zone, received a call that a man had received an electric shock and was lying unconscious at a school in Sangam Vihar. Head constable Kailash Chand and driver Jitendra reached the place in six minutes, and shifted the man into the van on a stretcher.

“While on the way to Safdarjung Hospital, a distance of around 10 kilometres, I administered CPR on the victim by continuously pressing his chest. After 15 minutes he regained consciousness and we heaved a sigh of relief,” says Kailash Chand.

Diplomatic move
Some situations require a presence of mind.

In the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri on July 22, policemen in a PCR van parked at the Chinese embassy saw a commotion in front of the main gate. A young Tibetan was climbing on a streetlight pole, with ‘Free Tibet’ banner.

Sub Inspector Kalu Ram and driver Umesh Kumar moved the van under the pole. Then SI Kalu Ram, requested the man to come down from the pole, but he refused.

The officer then warned him: climb down or he will climb up the poll. The words worked like magic and the young man came down.

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