Monday, June 15, 2015

‘Commandos’ ready for rains in city..By Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Jun 15, 2015,

This is the first Civil Defence team to be trained specifically to handle rain-related emergencies

The 20-member team will handle rescue operations in storm water drains and waterlogging problems

This monsoon, a twenty-strong Civil Defence team of trained men is all set to take on the rain-related havoc that features every time it rains heavily in Bengaluru. Trained at the National Civil Defence College (NCDC), Nagpur, the city's quick response Civil Defence team has been specially trained to tackle urban flooding during rains - including rescue and relief operations during the rain-related floods. It is the first time that a Civil Defence team has been trained with a specific agenda although they are meant to handle emergency situations, PRS Chetan, officer commanding and chief warden, Civil Defence, Karnataka, told Bangalore Mirror.
Reacting to emergency calls, these trained men will be pressed into action for rain emergencies. The team was in the forefront during rescue ops after a train accident near Anekal in February. They are generally pressed into service to assist the police during search exercises in city's unprotected storm water drains during flooding, during fires and bomb blasts.
But with the rains ahead and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) lacking skilled manpower to handle emergency situations during rains, it is hoped the Civil Defence's new expertise would come in handy especially in the low-lying areas that are worst hit every time during heavy downpour. "Upgrading the skills and keeping ourselves prepared is the need of hour. Hence we zeroed in a team of twenty members from our quick response team and selected two areas - advance firefighting and urban flooding. This is the need of the hour with the monsoon ahead. They have been trained on various aspects ranging from rescue in low-lying areas to issues like addressing waterlogging on city roads and tree felling," Chetan said. Management- and field-level operations are two key aspects, the Civil Defence officials said. Besides rushing and carrying out rescue exercises, the team has been trained on multiagency coordination which includes coordination between BBMP, revenue department, Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board (BWSSB) and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM).
The 20 personnel were trained in April and May in batches in Nagpur and Bengaluru. The Civil Defence in all has 52 divisions (approximately one division to every two police stations in the city). The team is prepared with equipment to address issues related to flooding.
"We are being trained to handle flood-related situation which include both human and livestock evacuation, addressing public inconvenience, diseases and clearing waterlogging. Other aspects include shelter management, pumping water from low lying areas, and emergency repair of public properties. The same has been tried practically. We hope this will help city if the rains are bad this time," Mohan Kumar K, a sector warden, Civil Defence, told Bangalore Mirror.

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