It is not just the fire crackers that are giving sleepless nights to the 108 emergency services.
While the authorities are gearing up for surge in medical emergencies during the Diwali festivities, they are expecting a rise in assault cases as well. In fact, according to an estimate given by the officials, based on past experiences, the second highest surge in medical emergencies is likely to be related to assault cases.
During Diwali days, the emergency service is expecting a maximum rise of 236% in burn-related injuries followed by assault injuries that may see a maximum surge of 201%, as compared to regular days. On normal days, 108 on an average gets 12 burn and 48 assault cases. Ahead of the festival this year, the service compared the data of rise in various casualties in previous years cases on normal days with those during the five days of Diwali — and made estimation of a surge this year. Based on this estimate, officials are expecting the highest number of such cases on New Year day this year. The average may go up to 39 cases for burns and 144 for assaults, according to their estimate.
Giving the reason for expecting a surge in burns and assault cases, an official of 108 said, “It is Diwali. People will burst fire crackers and some of them are likely to result in accidents. As for the reason behind rise in assault cases, it is because people travel more during Diwali.” “It is not just about traveling to distant places. People also go to relatives’ place. More people are out on the streets and hence the likelihood of fights and assaults is higher,” the official added.
Jashvant Prajapati, chief operating officer, GVK EMRI Gujarat, said that additional communication and dispatch officers along with doctors have been pressed into service to cater to the rush in medical emergencies during Diwali. In Ahmedabad alone, a 33% rise in overall emergencies is expected during the five days of Diwali with the highest being on New Year Day. Across the state, the hike in emergencies is likely to be around 7% to 45%.
108 has estimated that maximum emergencies will range between 2,840 and 3,296 on New Year day.
Burst crackers in open area
Wear cotton clothes
In case of burns, wash the affected area with plenty of cold water for 20 minutes
Always wear shoes / slippers while bursting crackers
Those suffering from breathing problems should stay indoors
In case clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP & ROLL on the ground
Always keep a bucket of water & sand bags near the place where you are bursting crackers
In case of serious emergencies, contact 108 for medical help
Burst crackers near hospitals and vehicles
Wear synthetic clothes while bursting crackers
Leave kids unattended while they are bursting crackers
Go close to trees and electric wires while bursting crackers
Eat sweets made of mawa / khoya