DRDO provides CRPF with bike-ambulances and special shoes for Maoist areas

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]escuing injured security personnel has always been fraught with danger in the Left Wing Extremism-hit areas of the country. From the Sukma attack earlier this year in which nine CRPF personnel were killed, it can be guessed that even mine-protected vehicles are not safe, as Maoists are reported to use over 50-kg explosives to target them.

In an attempt to solve this problem, the CRPF, with the help of the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), has developed a motorcycle-ambulance which has been tailored to its needs, reports Indian Express.

These ambulances come with special pillion seats to support the spine and neck, and a saline stand along with provision for carrying medicines and injections. A dozen such motorcycle-ambulances would initially be deployed in camps across LWE-hit areas, with preference being given to remote and inaccessible locations, said CRPF sources to the national newspaper.

“In such areas, like South Bastar, medical contingencies have greater frequency but evacuation is challenging due to terrain constraints. Either roads are completely absent or there are non-metalled roads which have the danger of mines. Bikes have always been the CRPF’s favoured mode of travel, as they greatly eliminate the risk of being caught in an IED explosion and also provide a modicum of stealth. Even during normal patrolling, our soldiers either move on foot or on bikes. So the bike-ambulances are going to be of great help,” CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar told the newsppaer, and said the bike-ambulance would be equipped to help an injured person reach the nearest camp or medical facility.

This concept was very popular in World War I and II, when side cars were attached with motorcycles which acted as medical stretchers for injured soldiers, as per an official involved with the development of the motorcycle-ambulance.

“A trial run of these bikes, called Rakshita Ambulance Bike, was carried out in Chhattisgarh and some modifications, based on our operational requirements, have been suggested. A fresh prototype is now being developed by INMAS and it will be available soon. These will first be tried in Bastar,” said Bhatnagar.

The CRPF is developing special shoes to withstand iron spikes. The security personnel had begun reinforcing their shoes with metal plates, but it made them very heavy, slowing down their movement. “We are developing special shoes that will withstand iron spikes, despite being very light and without any reinforcement of metal,” said a senior CRPF officer.