LAHORE: Rescue 1122 remembered the victims of the Baldia Town factory and Bund Road factory fires by organising a special event at the Emergency Services Academy on Tuesday.
Hundreds of people lost their lives in the twin factory fires which blazed in Karachi and Lahore on September 11, 2012. Further, 10 years ago 350 fire fighters and paramedics lost their lives trying to rescue citizens trapped inside the World Trade Centre.
During the ceremony a one minute silence was observed, while special prayers were offered to pay tribute to the victims. Pakistan Navy Station Commander Commodore Naimatullah and his team were also present during the event.
The station commander paid tribute to the fire fighter, rescuers and the victims who lost their lives in the incidents that occurred on September 11. He also lauded the efforts of Rescue 1122 Director General Rizwan Naseer.
“I have visited many countries, but the training facilities at Emergency Services Academy are not less than any other institution internationally,” he said.
Rescue 1122 DG briefed the trainee rescuers about these incidents, while also sharing the lessons they had learnt in hindsight.
“Around 300 lives were lost in the back-to-back fires at the Baldia Town garment factory in Karachi and the Bund Road factory in Lahore,” he expressed.
Rescue 1122 has prevented losses worth Rs353 billion by responding to 116,716 fires across the province, he added.
He stated that the Punjab Emergency Service has established a modern fire service in all the districts of Punjab. “The service is continuously organising fire safety awareness campaigns and conducting training session for the owners of and the employees working at high rise buildings,” he maintained.
There is a dire need to implement national fire safety codes as outlined by the Pakistan Engineering council in 2017 as well as the recommendations of the fire safety commission established by the Lahore High Court, he said.
The DG also appealed to the business community and the owners of high rise buildings to ensure that fire safety codes are implemented, while also emphasising on the need for proper emergency exits in high rise buildings. The greatest emergency services in the world cannot be effective without the implementation of fire safety codes, he articulated.
The media should also play their role in creating awareness regarding the importance of installing fire safety equipment, he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2018.