In the wake of dry spell in the region, more calls are expected

With dry spell continuing in the region, Fire and Rescue Services department personnel are on an alert ahead of Deepavali.

According to officials, in the past, prior to the D-day, when there was good amount of rain, the number of calls received by the fire brigade was relatively low. With dry spell reported in many of the southern districts, the calls are expected to be higher this season.

The southern region of Fire and Rescue Services comprises Madurai City, Madurai, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Virudunagar, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli districts. The authorities here want to ensure that all vulnerable locations and points are taken care of.

In the last fortnight, the fire officers in the respective fire stations had been campaigning on the need to burst crackers safely, through schools, local electronic media and other agencies, said Deputy Director (Fire and Rescue Services) M. Shahul Hameed on Monday.

The campaign in schools involving social workers and non-governmental organisations had fetched some results in the past. Rallies and live demonstration and mock drills were held to take the message to the general public. There had been a lot of awareness which had resulted in people taking precautions while bursting crackers.

Children should burst crackers only under the supervision of elders and cotton outfit was advisable while bursting crackers. Similarly, under no circumstances aerial fireworks should be burst near thatched roofs or petrol pumps, but only in open spaces. In the event of burns, by pouring cold water, the degree of intensity of injury could be reduced to a great extent. These were some of the tips shared by them at the campaign.

Fire calls data

The fire calls are analysed in the following pattern — one day ahead of Deepavali, on the festival day and post-Deepavali day, officials said.

The data available with the Fire and Rescue Services department shows that except in 2009 (in the last six years), the number of calls received were well within the manageable limits in the southern region. In 2006 - 18 calls; 2007 - 32; 2008 – 54; 2009 – 151; 2010 - 28 and 2011- 11 calls.

In Madurai city, the fire calls on Deepavali day in the last six years were: 2006 – 4; 2007 – 11; 2008 – 23; 2009 – 31; 2010 – 5; and 2011- 4 calls.

Mr. Shahul Hameed told The Hindu that they are fully geared to handle any emergencies. All fire officers were on alert with fire tenders positioned at vantage points.

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