The Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 conducted a flood preparedness exercise at Jhelum River to check the department’s preparedness level and response strategy in Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Chakwal and Gujrat districts, said a press release.
The exercise envisioned that rescue teams from Jhelum were deputed during the monsoon season but additional help from Rawalpindi, Chakwal and Gujrat districts was required to execute standard operating procedures of flood emergency response. The Provincial Monitoring Cell (PMC) Lahore was to provide assistance to ensure a unified command and swift response through centralised coordination.
The water level at the river was raised at the scenario to make the exercise more real.
Jhelum Rescue 1122, under the command of District Emergency Officer Dr Faisal, started evacuation with three teams and four boats. He also coordinated with PMC to send backup teams from other districts along with two boats and water rescue equipment. A total of 80 rescuers saved the trapped community members. A navigation system was also used for tracking and positioning boats from PMC Lahore.
Director General (DG) Dr Rizwan Naseer monitored the exercise and discussed in details the expected shortfalls. “We have 2,876 trained community emergency response teams in Punjab which must be deputed during exercise,” he said.
Earlier, Naseer reviewed the arrangements and briefed all the district officers to execute emergency response by following standard operating procedures so as to get the maximum output during flood operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.