India has vast geographical variations, ranging from arid deserts to towering mountains, across the length and breadth of the nation. Though the country has a pretty strong road and rail network, it is primarily concentrated in the metropolitan and suburban regions. It is practically impossible to connect all remote areas via roads or railways due to reasons like rugged terrain and lack of resources.
Many people living in tribal regions have to struggle to access basic amenities like food, water, and shelter. Providing medical support and services by road ambulances is virtually non-existent here, leading to high mortality rates. In such scenarios, ambulance boats are a boon for these hamlets.
What are Ambulance Boats?
Ambulance boats are boats providing emergency medical services to areas that are inaccessible by roads or railways. They are equipped with all the necessary equipment including ventilators and tools for basic surgery as well as trained paramedics that can save the patient till he/she is taken to principal hospital in the region. Generally, mid-sized ambulance boats can support around 5-8 people, however, this varies depending on boat design.
Ambulance boats can be used as the primary or supplementary emergency service based on the requirement of the area. The need for ambulance boats is decided by a few specific factors.
Advantages of Ambulance Boats
The advantages of boat ambulances include:
- Increased Connectivity
Boat ambulances in India provide the much-needed connectivity to remote areas and inaccessible locations. The are live-savers in island villages that have basic or no medical support, offering villagers a new lease of life.
- Fast Response Time
Ambulance boats increase response time significantly, as they can navigate through rugged terrain with ease. This is crucial in cases where emergency medical services can mean the difference between life and death.
- Low Investment Cost
The investment cost of water ambulances is comparatively low as compared to the cost of constructing roads and laying down the necessary infrastructure to connect a remote village to civilization. This makes boat ambulances a more viable option for increased return on investment.
- High Efficiency
Ambulance boats are highly efficient and can provide timely service to remote locations. The full complement of medical supplies is regularly updated and the paramedics traveling along with the ambulance are well-trained in the first-aid and emergency services required for the job.
Ambulance Boat Design
Ambulance boats have specific design particulars based on the inland and marine requirements of the region. The boats designed by Navgathi for the Maharashtra Health Department’s Kevadiya colony project are per the following specifications:
|LENGTH OVERALL||15.23 MTR|
|LENGTH W.L.||14.54 MTR|
|DRAFT @ MIDSHIP||0.45 MTR|
|MAX SPEED||30 Knots|
The State Government of Maharashtra has commissioned three ambulance boats for this project providing medical services dedicated to childbirth and delivery, with an additional ICU for emergency operations.
Boat ambulances are a key resource in providing medical support to remote villages in a fast and efficient manner. They are instrumental in saving dozens of lives at a moment’s notice. There are several boat ambulance manufacturers in India that create specialised boats based on standard specifications using advanced technology and durable material. The fast response time, low investment cost, and many other advantages of water ambulances make them an excellent alternative for road ambulances in remote areas.