Enhancing capacity: Rescue 1122 demands more resources

District chief claims present capabilities insufficient to meet fire-fighting challenges.

APP August 05, 2014

RAWALPINDI: Rescue 1122 has sought funds from the district government to set up a special cell in the city to deal with natural calamities, disasters and emergencies in a more efficient manner, said District Emergency Officer Dr Abdul Rehman on Monday.

“Rescue 1122 has requested the city government for funds amounting to Rs3.5 million for setting up a special control room and purchasing new boats, lifejackets, modern fire-fighting equipment and chemicals to effectively respond during floods, earthquakes, fire incidents, road mishaps, among other emergencies,” he said while talking to APP.

Replying to a question, Rehman, who is also district officer of fire-fighting, said the fire-brigade department lacked the required capacity and resources to handle emergencies and called for immediate measures for its revamping on a war-footing.

A proposal, he said, had been submitted to the relevant authorities for devising an effective strategy to make the department a vibrant body with complete capacity to handle fire-related incidents. Presently, he said, only five fire-fighting vehicles were in a working condition and the same number was out of order for several years. He added the total manpower across the district was only 60.

He underlined the need for setting up fire-fighting stations in Kahuta, Kallar Syedan and Kotli Sattian tehsils of Rawalpindi as these areas were missing the facility to effectively meet fire incidents.

There is also another recommendation to handover assets of the fire-brigade department to Rescue 1122 and attach its employees with the Water and Sanitation Agency for better utilisation of available resources, Rehman informed.

“Rescue 1122 has a modern fleet to handle all emergencies and it can easily operate in high-rise buildings,” he told APP. Rehman also advised the government to ensure water-filling stations at every five kilometres for early dozing of fires.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th,2014.



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