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Old 21st October 2013, 15:35   #1
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Angry A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Gruesome accidents are not a very rare site on our roads and highways. We all have witnessed them and depending on the situation, passed on praying for the victim's well being, ignoring the accident and at times helping the accident victims. I witnessed something similar and was(still am) very disturbed of the trauma rescue mechanism we have in place. While a strata of society blames of how remorseless we(esp Delhiites post Dhaula Kuan rape case) have become to ignoring fellow humans in distress, this incidence have really eroded the very intention and plan of our govt towards the citizens. We see those fancy ambulances and cranes at the toll booths of these big private players who collect a convenience fee for letting you ride on road (what do govt do with our road tax, vehicle tax and what not!), these private players are just a showoff, with no better intentions than the govt machinery.

Prologue:

It was a weekend that we all friends were able to steal from our respective priorities. The weekend marriage of a friend at chandigarh sealed our plans for chandigarh and may be shimla/kasauli. So, off we went to chandigarh from delhi at 2200 hrs on the last friday night. Reached Zirrakpur McDonalds at 0200 hrs to meet the rest of the gang. There, the gang split into the photo/driving enthusiasts ready to leave for Kasauli to witness a sun-rise from the sunrise point and the lazy-ones off to a flat to catch a nap.

The incident:

On way to Kasuali via Himalyan Expressway, witnessed an accident of flipped over car(a new suzuki dezire regn no HR 03 xxxx) near Chandi Mandir. The car had already crashed on divider, flipped over and landed of the roof on the other side of the higway. The occupants, a couple around 25 yrs of age were evacuated from the vehicle by the truck fellows and were on the center verge. The guy had his scalp ripped apart, bleeding heavily while the female occupant was unharmed sans her thumb totally broken and hanging. She was already on line with helpline seeking help and consoling her husband who was in senses but grievously injured. Got numb for a few seconds seeing the accident and then helped them with water and some cloth to press on the head wound (the bandage of car's first aid was too small in relation to the ripped scalp).

The action:

Decided not to wait for the ambulance and transport them to a hospital in my car. But then decided against it for:
- I had female accomplice and it was no wise to de-board them on an unknown highway at 3 am
- The nature of injury was too serious, so the initial medical help/laid down position of ambulance could make a difference of life vs death for the injured guy
- I had no idea of locality and locating a suitable hospital could mean wasting the golden hour for the patient

Inquired from the truck driver that the next toll booth is only one kilometer away. The cries of the lady and finding myself mook spectating the dying man like others was not helping either. So, I rushed my car to the next toll and stopped next to the establishment with an ambulance standing. Shouted at the sleeping guards, hurling abuses at them due to disturbed mental state. Post shouting for 5 minutes, the gates were opened and a patrol vehicle (a xylo pickup) was started and ready to dispatch. I argued that it was a confirmed accident with casualties, hence dispatch an ambulance which was standing there. Another commotion followed with more guards waking up and some of the staff too. The driver of ambulance then appeared yawning followed by a paramedic awaking from his sleep slumber with a first aid kit (the kind we have at our home). This entire episode wasted some 20 minutes with me running from one locked office to other to fasten action.

After ensuring the dispatching of ambulance, enraged and baffled from all this, I demanded meeting the toll-incharge. I was escorted to another end of a building where in a control room with cctv monitors and radio equipment lay a guy with sleepy eyes(a retd army official). In one corner of the room, laid his makeshift bed for sleeping. I blasted at him and questioned the state of affairs. He very casually stated that all the help was rushed in time and ASAP. Further, I was told it was there standard procedure to send a patrol vehicle which confirms the state of affairs at the site of accident. Shouting further, briefed him about the ground events I was a witness to and throwing around some weight had him seated in chair, ordering tea for me. I asked for the complaint register and was told they do not have one. He told me to give my complaint in writing and he shall follow up the same in morning. I wrote my complaint on a plain paper and asked for receiving which was denied. On talking to his senior on phone: the actual in-charge(some ex-DSP Mr.Thakur sleeping at his sweet home with sweet dreams), the toll guy finally photocopied the complaint and signed on it(they said they do not have a stamp!).
The final update on the accident before leaving was that the couple had been dispatched to trauma center in an ambulance and police had reached the spot.

What now:

I have the copy of the complaint signed by the control room guy and payment receipt of crossing the toll at 0411 hrs. I have visited the website of NHAI and Ministry of Road Transport and Highway. Already in the process of writing a complaint letter to the Chairman, NHAI and someone in the ministry too. Is there anything else I could do? I know, the injured guy may have already lost his life in all this unnecessary delays but the sole criterion of complaining is to ensure providing timely help to any other unlucky fellow who may face an accident.

Help and suggestions invited.
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Old 21st October 2013, 16:57   #2
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grr7 View Post
Gruesome accidents are not a very rare site on our roads and highways. We all have witnessed them and depending on the situation, passed on praying for the victim's well being, ignoring the accident and at times helping the accident victims.
Read the horrific experience. I hope and wish that the guy survived. But please don't get frustrated or get into agony or anxiety. The good thing is that you have done your bit and in fact more. You did the right thing.

Regarding the functioning of the concerned mechanism, against which you have put up a complain, frankly speaking, will not change an iota of the system. I don't know how useful it might be, but should it bring more troubles & unnecessary anxiety to you, just let it be. The simple reason is that we get disturbed very easily while being in such situations, but these guys get hardly perplexed in these situations, probably because its a routine job for them.

Last edited by saket77 : 21st October 2013 at 17:04.
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Old 21st October 2013, 16:59   #3
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Write to pgportal.gov.in they should be of help here. I was reading a few threads here today and came across the link, it has helped a few members who had lodged a complaint on the portal.
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Old 21st October 2013, 17:07   #4
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

What you could do is to contact public media and ask if any publicity can be given to the incident so that those responsible are held accountable. The good that I hope will come out of such an action of yours is a reduced reaction time to an accident and hopefully a change in the current protocols being blindly followed.

Since the accident victim was in his senses, which means a normal functioning of the brain; it is likely that he survived the incident. In case you want to further pursue the matter, am sure the ambulance will have the necessary records as to which hospital he was taken to and on enquiring at the hospital you will have further information.

Not everybody bothers about providing care to an injured victim and it is highly commendable that you did something for them.
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Old 21st October 2013, 17:45   #5
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Are you angry at the delay caused at the toll booth or what? I think the guards were right in sending off there patrol vehicle as they might want to be sure of whats the exact scenario. Or atleast that is what there procedure says. On hearing your version that there are indeed confirmed injured people, they sent out the ambulance.
Regarding the staff sleeping, what else are you expecting out of them? They can't just stay awake waiting for a mishap to happen. The usual scene in any hospital too is that once a patient comes in the Emergency room, the concerned Doctors are called or intimidated and they come ASAP to attend to the patient. But they also do go and sleep off if they do not have a patient to attend to.

I do understand your point about the Golden hour. But sometimes things are different in theory and practice. I really doubt it is humanly possible for a person to just stay awake the whole night and do nothing.
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Old 21st October 2013, 18:36   #6
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Regarding the functioning of the concerned mechanism, against which you have put up a complain, frankly speaking, will not change an iota of the system. I don't know how useful it might be, but should it bring more troubles & unnecessary anxiety to you, just let it be. The simple reason is that we get disturbed very easily while being in such situations, but these guys get hardly perplexed in these situations, probably because its a routine job for them.
Well, the only thing I can be satisfied of is that I saved at-least 5-10 minutes of further delay if I would not have raised a stink there. Besides, the authority may not be proactive in taking action against its own staff, but in this case this is a private concessionaire who have agreed to certain terms at the time of tender. Some penalty on the private firm may ensure that they dont take this all too casually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurrycane12 View Post
Write to pgportal.gov.in they should be of help here. I was reading a few threads here today and came across the link, it has helped a few members who had lodged a complaint on the portal.
Thanks, the problem with pgportal.gov.in is that it is for grievance against govt departments. The lack/delay in service here is from a private player operating a toll booth under tender from the govt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revintup View Post
What you could do is to contact public media and ask if any publicity can be given to the incident so that those responsible are held accountable. The good that I hope will come out of such an action of yours is a reduced reaction time to an accident and hopefully a change in the current protocols being blindly followed.
Unluckily, I am not in chandigarh now, I was just a traveler passing through that expressway. However, I am hopeful if it could bring even a little change.

Regards

Last edited by GTO : 22nd October 2013 at 15:16. Reason: PM coming up on using quote the right way
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Old 21st October 2013, 18:56   #7
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

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Originally Posted by Grr7 View Post
Dear Drmohitg,

I am quite surprised at your response. Please find my reply to your points mentioned with the concerns/questions raised. However, I apologies if I mis-communicated my ordeal or you interpreted it differently. The comments by other community members suggest that this mis-intepretation by you is one odd case.
I am not saying that they go sleep in the hostel. But they do go sleep in the Doctors room/ on duty resident's room or whatever you wanna call it. What you say is 101% correct. But the ground realities are different a lot of times then theory.

Doctors everywhere go rest. There is usually a nurse who takes shifts and calls the doctor whenever needed. In a busy hospital like PGI chandigarh obviously the patient load would be so high that the doctor won't get anytime to go and rest. The picture doesn't end there. You say they have dedicated 8 hour shifts. I am not sure of that. Atleast my comments were based on the parallels that I draw from life of doctors. I get 2 emergency duties every week. There is no pre duty or post duty off. So if my emergency duty is on a monday then I start work at 8 AM monday morning, finish the day at 6 pm, start my emergency duty from 6 pm to 8 AM tuesday morning and then continue the day duty on tuesday from 8 AM to 6 PM. You can blame it on hospital policies etc but do you think in such a case you expect me to stay awake the whole night EVEN IF there are no patients in the casuality, a total of 36 hrs straight. And on top of it you want me to be alert and make the difference between someone's life and death. Sometimes those 15-30 mins naps is what keeps us going.
Again I am not sure if these people are on dedicated 8 hour shifts. If that is true then they ought to stay awake.

Don't feel that I am defending the attitude of the toll booth people. But sometimes ground realities are different from the ideal situation.

Last edited by drmohitg : 21st October 2013 at 18:58.
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Old 21st October 2013, 19:20   #8
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
I am not saying that they go sleep in the hostel. But they do go sleep in the Doctors room/ on duty resident's room or whatever you wanna call it. What you say is 101% correct. But the ground realities are different a lot of times then theory.

Doctors everywhere go rest. There is usually a nurse who takes shifts and calls the doctor whenever needed. In a busy hospital like PGI chandigarh obviously the patient load would be so high that the doctor won't get anytime to go and rest. The picture doesn't end there. You say they have dedicated 8 hour shifts. I am not sure of that. Atleast my comments were based on the parallels that I draw from life of doctors. I get 2 emergency duties every week. There is no pre duty or post duty off. So if my emergency duty is on a monday then I start work at 8 AM monday morning, finish the day at 6 pm, start my emergency duty from 6 pm to 8 AM tuesday morning and then continue the day duty on tuesday from 8 AM to 6 PM. You can blame it on hospital policies etc but do you think in such a case you expect me to stay awake the whole night EVEN IF there are no patients in the casuality, a total of 36 hrs straight. And on top of it you want me to be alert and make the difference between someone's life and death. Sometimes those 15-30 mins naps is what keeps us going.
Again I am not sure if these people are on dedicated 8 hour shifts. If that is true then they ought to stay awake.

Don't feel that I am defending the attitude of the toll booth people. But sometimes ground realities are different from the ideal situation.
Agreed, many of my doctor friends also have similar complains of continuous and long duty hours. Except for say pathologists, who I have observed are the most relaxed specialists in this emergency aspect.

I would say that if that is the case, it would not be a good analogy to compare a doctor and a toll guard/paramedics duties and work style.

But, I am very sure that in case of a night emergency, you as a Doctor would directly wake up and attend the patient instead of sending over a nurse to first check if the patient have a pulse or not! Even the brought dead cases requires doctors mediation, attempt of revival and confirming the medical condition. Similarly, the logic of sending a patrol vehicle when you have confirmed casualties cannot be justified in any manner. Sending of both an ambulance and a patrol vehicle could have been best for providing medical help and taking stock of the situation(eg calling in a crane later on to remove the mangled car).

The duty chart in the control room of toll suggested that they have dedicated personnel for duties in every shift.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 10:05   #9
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

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Thanks, the problem with pgportal.gov.in is that it is for grievance against govt departments. The lack/delay in service here is from a private player operating a toll booth under tender from the govt.
Not trying to push you to use the pgportal, but suggested as I had read a thread from GTO on his MNP issue faced due to rejections by Vodafone to Reliance and both these are private players.

I guess they do help in any issue you raise with Govt or Private companies.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 11:08   #10
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

This might not come to anything, but you could maybe correspond on the addresses given in www.morth.nic.in (Ministry of road transport)

I had once filled up a suggestion form in the website and was surprised to see a reply. Action - well I don't expect too much.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 15:03   #11
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

To those who do not expect things to improve ever : What if it was you?

The emergency response system become vital only if you are the inured party? If we are paying for toll road with mandate services they need to be working.

I would like to than you on behalf of the injured fellow motorist.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 16:26   #12
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Sir, we need more souls like you on our highways. Please take solace in the fact that you did your part and tried to help as much as you could have.

Fighting the babudom is fruitless, instead we should follow the example of those team of doctors from down south who have dedicated themselves to road accident victims.

Have you by any chance taken the contact details of the couple ? I understand that it was crucial time and this might not have occured.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 23:06   #13
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Grr7 - would like to congratulate you for the possible help you tried to render, in the trying conditions, though with so many frustrating experiences.

As one friend has suggested, you may explore the idea of talking with some good reporter. The acknowledgement of your complaint bears testimony to the fact that it has been submitted for appropriate action.

Do not talk to many from the media. We just do not know as they distort and colour facts to gain undue publicity. So its enough to talk to one balanced correspondent, for a good news agency (electronic or print). That helps keep the authorities under pressure to act on the complaint.

Or else, soon the gravity of the complaint may fade, as no one even in the highest level is quite bothered these days unless pressurized to do do.
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Old 24th October 2013, 01:29   #14
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Default Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

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Originally Posted by Hurrycane12 View Post
I guess they do help in any issue you raise with Govt or Private companies.
Thanks for the suggestion Hurrycane12, I consulted with a few other people too and the general opinion is that pgportal might be the best way as going through this channel ensures registration and requires a solution to be put up by nodal agency in the action taken report. On the other hand, my complaint in NHAI/Ministry may keep on sitting on one table for long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik View Post
This might not come to anything, but you could maybe correspond on the addresses given in www.morth.nic.in (Ministry of road transport)
I had once filled up a suggestion form in the website and was surprised to see a reply. Action - well I don't expect too much.
Thanks Mik. Now this was the kind of feedback/information/support I was expecting from fellow bhpians. Your post confirms that at least they listen and that is the first step for me to attain my purpose.

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Originally Posted by sudev View Post
To those who do not expect things to improve ever : What if it was you?
Thanks Sudev sir. We Indians have become experts in dual standardizing stuff. Just because it has not happened to us in past does not guarantee we are immunized from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
Sir, we need more souls like you on our highways. Please take solace in the fact that you did your part and tried to help as much as you could have.
Fighting the babudom is fruitless, instead we should follow the example of those team of doctors from down south who have dedicated themselves to road accident victims.
Have you by any chance taken the contact details of the couple ? I understand that it was crucial time and this might not have occured.
Sir, I am no different, I have been guilty of passing by many road accidents in Delhi wherein people take a momentarily stop to look at the accident, make funny faces and move on(thereby causing a bottleneck traffic jam and delay for emergency services).
As for taking the contact details, well the situation was very delicate, the wife crying and placating her half dead husband. My throat went dry and I was shuddering at the very view. I could not see any purpose of asking them for any contact details at that moment. And when few other fellow motorists stopped by, I rushed myself towards to the toll to help things from the other end. I could only remember it was a grey Suzuki Swift Dzire with a HR-03-something registration number. HR 03 is Panchkula authority or near to it I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Grr7 - would like to congratulate you for the possible help you tried to render, in the trying conditions, though with so many frustrating experiences.
As one friend has suggested, you may explore the idea of talking with some good reporter. The acknowledgement of your complaint bears testimony to the fact that it has been submitted for appropriate action.
Thanks for the appreciation Anjan sir, my action there satisfies my conscience. I have completely lost faith in the media. Every channel would be deeply interested if I had a heart shaking video of the injured couple with crying wife. The media people would have happily blurred the blood, show it on their channel with a statutory warning that scenes of the video are not for faint hear-ted to increase their TRP. People making such videos for commercial gains/publicizing death of someone brings my blood to a boil.
Rest assured, I am taking up this matter with PG Portal, NHAI and Ministry of Roads.

I used to be happy and proud to see those cranes, patrol vehicles and big ambulances(where unlike Omni ambulances, atleast a 6 foot injured guy could be accommodated) on toll roads. It felt like I am paying a little fee for an added security and convenience. But this incidence have shown it loud and clear that things still are pretty much the same!
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Old 24th October 2013, 03:52   #15
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Thumbs down Re: A frustrating experience of helping a road accident victim

Well, Salute to Grr7. I wish all Indian's become alert and brave like you. Once upon a time, I also saw an accident and helped the victims. It was the great feeling like no other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Regarding the staff sleeping, what else are you expecting out of them? They can't just stay awake waiting for a mishap to happen. The usual scene in any hospital too is that once a patient comes in the Emergency room, the concerned Doctors are called or intimidated and they come ASAP to attend to the patient. But they also do go and sleep off if they do not have a patient to attend to.
Sir, you should not compare toll operators security guards and ambulance people with doctors. Its their duty to remain alert and that's what they are paid for and that's what we are assured as one of the service offered when we pay the toll. Regardless, these people fall under emergency service personal and its their duty to take care of fellow citizens. If they have so many problems working in odd hours then they should probably find another day time job which gives them relaxed working hours so that they don't kill people in need due to their ignorance and careless behavior.

They have to take their job serious "every time" because someone may be killed due to their ignorance.
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