Fire force braces for Cyclone Burevi

Solid preparation: Officials checking rescue gear at the Fire and Rescue Services office in Kottayam on Thursday, in anticipation of heavy rain following the Cyclone Burevi alert.  

The Fire and Rescue Services Department remains fully geared up to meet the potential fallout of Cyclone Burevi in Idukki and Ernakulam districts.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Regional Fire Officer K.K. Shiju said that the entire manpower and equipment of the department remained completely mobilised in both the districts. Leave and off of fire personnel remain suspended in view of the emergency.

Nearly 1,000 employees have been kept ready for action in 26 fire and rescue stations across the two districts.

Equipment ranging from chainsaw, concrete cutter, demolition hammers, etc. have been refurbished and organised to be pulled into action any time in the wake of any potential damage caused by the cyclone.

Every single fire station in Ernakulam has a raft with an additional five in the Gandhi Nagar station to face any potential flooding in the heavy rain likely to accompany the cyclone. Besides, there are 10 rubber dinghies with outboard engines.

The department has set up ham radio control rooms connecting fire stations in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Idukki and Ernakulam districts to overcome any potential communication breaks in the wake of the cyclone.

Civil defence force

The department has also mobilised its considerable civil defence force members attached to every fire station as the first line of defence and to assist department personnel. Every station has a minimum of 50 trained civil defence members who can be activated through a simple message in relevant WhatsApp groups. The two districts account for nearly 1300 civil defence members.

Fire force personnel now work in batches of seven-day cycles in compliance with COVID protocol. However, if the situation so demands, everyone will be summoned irrespective of their shift cycles.

Ernakulam District Fire Officer A.S. Jogy also attended the press conference in which the department’s diverse equipment were displayed.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 5:11:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fire-force-braces-for-cyclone-burevi/article33243936.ece

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