Emergency rescue facilities near ecotourism spots in Kozhikode yet to be a reality

District Disaster Management Authority is yet to explore the possibility of opening such facilities even as incidents of drowning are on the rise

Published - July 11, 2024 07:27 pm IST - Kozhikode

Rescue service stations with trained volunteers near accident-prone ecotourism destinations in the upland areas of Kozhikode district are yet to be a reality even as local bodies and members of local rescue squads have been demanding them against the backdrop of the rise in drowning cases. In the absence of such facilities, villagers are forced to take the lead in rescue operations despite their limited skills to save lives.

The villagers’ plea to open at least a satellite unit of any of the rural fire stations at Kakkayam too has fallen on deaf ears. In the event of accidents, they have to wait for hours for ambulances to rush victims to hospitals.

Destinations such as Arippara, Pathankayam, Thusharagiri, Kariyathumpara, and Kakkayam have multiple accident-prone stretches where only a few warning boards are seen at present. Though over 20 people drowned in the past 10 years around these ecotourism spots, the authorities are yet to take steps to introduce quick life-saving systems.

“We are forced to use our own vehicles to rush accident victims to hospital. In such a scenario, an ambulance service would be a huge relief,” said V.V. Sebastian of Kanthalad near Kakkayam. He added that the opening of a first-aid centre with at least one emergency medical technician was a primary requirement.

Some former panchayat members pointed out that the opening of an emergency rescue centre with trained volunteers had been a long-pending demand, which the District Disaster Management Authority should look into. Local administrators or destination management committees could bear the cost of running such a centre, they said.

Though there was a proposal to open a fire station to cover vulnerable ecotourism spots, it could not be carried out due to shortage of funds. Fire and Rescue Services department sources said the renovation of many existing fire station buildings was pending, thanks to financial constraints. Even the opening of a satellite station with minimal facilities could be difficult, they said.

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