Cuttack: Taking note of the forecast of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) that there would be more than normal rainfall in Odisha this year, the Odisha Fire Services department is bracing for possible floods and cyclone in the state.
“To tackle floods, we have prepared a standard operating procedure (SOP) to keep about 5600 Fire personnel from all 292 fire stations on a constant state of alert. Apart from this, 225 power boats, 489 tower lights and 672 cutters have been kept ready in the fire stations in vulnerable areas for use during calamity. Our main effort would be to minimise the time to respond as far as possible and practicable,” Dr Binoy Kumar Behera, DGP, Fire Services, Home Guards and Civil Defence, told OTV today.
Talking about the role of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) in disaster mitigation, he said ODRAF is a different unit managed by the Revenue and Disaster Management department. "The Fire Services department works separately. One ODRAF unit is at the Fire Training Institute at Baramunda in Bhubaneswar. But we complement each other," he said.
On setting up of fire stations in medical colleges and hospitals, Behera said a former proposal to this effect has been given to the state government. “We have discussed with the medical college authorities regarding identification of at least two acres of land inside their premises which is required to set up a fire station. Since allotment of two acres of land inside the medical colleges premises is not possible, we have decided to make high rise building to accommodate the staff and keep all equipment,” he said.
Talking about the steps his department would take to act immediately in case fire breaks out in hospital premises, Behera said efforts are on to link the control panel from each ward with the main control room of the Fire Station so that the exact place of fire can be noticed immediately.