'108' Emergency Ambulance Services


Millions of emergencies end in a loss of life because the needy cannot afford ambulance services. In order to remove the barriers of affordability that prevent the poorer sections of the state from accessing ambulance services, TNHSP proposed to launch ambulance services.

Initially, Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project had partnered with selected NGOs in 15 districts to provide ambulance services. Due to various difficulties faced in running the operations, it was decided to partner with an experienced

Partnership with Private Sector

Subsequently, the Project signed a MoU to provide emergency services for the State, fully funded by Government of Tamil Nadu. All the ambulances procured were handed over to EMRI so that they could modify according to the specifications.

On September 15, 2008, the programme was launched in Tamil Nadu.

24x7 Service

The 108 Emergency Ambulance Service is a 24x7 service, which anyone can avail by dialling the number 108 on their phone during the case of any emergency.

It could be either a medical emergency, a fire emergency, or a crime being committed. The number 108 is a toll-free number and can be dialed from any phone, be it a mobile phone or a landline, at the time of an emergency, without
any prefix or suffix.

Help reaches the person within 20 minutes.

Initially, the person who receives the call at Emergency Response Centre (ERC) takes down the nature of emergency
and the location of the caller. Depending on the nature of the call, either an ambulance, a fire engine, or a police assistance is sent. This is done through the Emergency Response Centre.

The centralized Emergency Response Centre helps coordinate between the Despatch Officer, Emergency Response Centre Physician and the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for getting guidance during transit. Coordination with police and fire department is also facilitated through the Emergency Response Centre.

The entire service is free for any citizen.


Since September 15, 2008, till 30th April, 2010, 108 ambulance service has provided emergency care and saved the lives of 4,11,288 persons. Of these:

  • 1, 26,942 were accident and trauma cases
  • 1,10,480 were pregnancy cases
  • 21,782 were cardiac cases
  • 15,660 were poison cases
  • 21,185 critical cases
  • 6, 930 Tribal beneficiaries

By March 2011, the number of ambulances plying in Tamil Nadu will rise to 645.

Programme Brochure