Four-wheelers get Hubballi makeover as army ambulances

Karnataka: Four-wheelers get Hubballi makeover as army ambulances

Soothing touch in rugged terrain

The interiors of the 3-bed ambulance for soldiers, designed by Able Design Engineering Services Private Limited in Hubballi. (Right) Interiors of the single-bed ambulance. DH Photos

Two variants of advance life support ambulances, offering treatment and transport facility for the injured soldiers in the Himalayan region, are being developed in Hubballi.

After the project was awarded by Defence Bioengineering & Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL) of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), Hubballi-based Able Design Engineering Services Private Limited has designed two types of ambulances, while Steira Technovations India Private Limited is modifying two vehicles into 'ICU on wheels'.

Located at Aryabhata Tech Park at Navanagar here, these two companies are into designing and prototyping of devices for industries in different sectors. The works related to convert two vehicles provided by the DRDO into high-tech ambulances began in December and they are expected to be delivered to DRDO-DEBEL in March.

"A Tata Sumo is being converted into one-bed ambulance and an Isuzu (a mini-bus) vehicle will be made a three-bed ambulance. They will have medical equipment worth over Rs 35 lakh, including tele-medicine, and video-screening. Steering, suspension, and other systems of the vehicles are also being changed, as they have to move in the hilly terrain," Jagadish Hiremath, managing director of Able Design Engineering and Steira Technovations told DH.

Additional batteries and inverter are also being fitted to these vehicles, which have an air-conditioning system. As specialist doctors can be contacted through this ambulance, treatment can be given during the journey itself, he said.

Recently, Steira Technovations manufactured the world's first vertical axis wind turbine and exported it to a company in USA. Electric bus and truck are also now being designed for an Indian company, he added.