BMTC first aid box won't help you in case of accident

BMTC first aid box won't help you in case of accident
First aid boxes in Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses are a myth.

A reality check by DH at the Kempegowda Bus Station revealed that while the boxes were missing in many buses, in vehicles that did have them, they were mostly empty.

The crew of buses which did store first aid kits were not sure whether the medicines had passed the expiry date.

They said they were helpless and added that it was the duty of the maintenance staff to ensure buses are equipped with first aid kits when they go to the workshop for maintenance. "We can do nothing about this," a bus conductor explained.

Another crew member said: "There is no need for first aid kits as they are used only in emergencies which are rare."

Venugopal Shetty, a passenger, said many buses do not have first aid kits. "The BMTC does not follow safety procedures. They act only when there is a major incident," he said.

What experts say

According to experts, all public transport buses should have first aid kits to meet any medical emergency.

Transport expert M N Sreehari said: "According to rules, all public transport vehicles like buses, trucks, cabs and auto-rickshaws should have first aid kits."

Commenting on the condition of first aid kits in BMTC buses, Sreehari said: "Medicines in first aid kits in BMTC buses have passed the expiry date and are often not available. If someone is administered these medicines, it could be hazardous."

He continued: "The government should assign auditors to check the kits regularly and ensure the kits are available during medical emergencies."

Sreehari suggested that BMTC train its crew to handle medical emergencies.

BMTC response

According to the BMTC, first aid kits are more of a necessity in mofussil buses than in city buses. BMTC managing director V Ponnuraj told DH:  "First aid kits are a necessity in mofussil buses. In the city, drug stores are present at short distances.

"Moreover, the city is served by the 108 ambulance service which will ensure patients reach hospitals in less than four to five minutes in case of an emergency."

However, Ponnuraj also assured that BMTC buses will be equipped with first aid kits. "I will ensure that first aid kits will be provided to buses which don't have them."

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