Firemen to be the first responders at blast sites


More than 100 personnel to be stationed near 200-metre radius of the buildings

Over 100 firemen from 18 fire stations under the Department of Fire and Rescue Services in Ernakulam will be the first responders to reach the sites after the implosion of H2O Holy Faith and Alfa Serene apartment buildings on Saturday morning.

In what is termed as its first-ever experience with an implosion of such magnitude, fire force personnel are keeping their fingers crossed hoping that the entire process will be over without hiccups. The operation is being approached as if the department is tackling a natural disaster.

“We will be stationed near the 200-metre radius marked by the district administration from the buildings. A siren will be heard immediately after the implosion, and we will rush to the site as the first responders within two minutes to ensure that there are no casualties,” said Gogy J.S., District Fire Officer.

Eight firetenders, thousands of litres of water stored in firetenders and additional water tankers deployed near the blast sites, hydraulic equipment, and a scuba diving team will form part of the firefighting apparatus.

“We will first rule out casualties or impact of the implosion on nearby buildings. The department has deployed both large and small firetenders at the sites to ensure that help is available at once in case of an emergency,” he said.

Meanwhile, firemen pointed out that they did not have a larger role in controlling the dust emerging from the implosion. “It will be addressed by the agencies involved in the implosion. However, our team will be ready to provide all help,” they said.

A scuba diving team will remain alert, especially to tackle emergency situations arising out of the possible impact of the implosion on the nearby Vembanad lake. “We are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of all those who are involved and likely to be impacted by the implosion,” said a fire force official. The exercise will be repeated on Sunday when the remaining two apartment buildings will be demolished.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 2:01:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/firemen-to-be-the-first-responders-at-blast-sites/article30538868.ece

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