A mock drill bordering on the real

Firemen create three disaster situations

Stage-managed:  Home Guards, Civil Defence and Fire and Emergency Services present a  mock drill of a bomb explosion, as part of the National Disaster Reduction Day at Sri Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday. (Below) An ‘injured’ being rushed for treatment. DH Photos

But they were soon reassured that it was a mock scenario of a contingency created on the occasion of National Disaster Reduction Day.

Karnataka became the first State in the country to launch ‘Agni,’ the two-wheeled fire fighting vehicle based on mist technology, on the occasion. Apart from eight ‘Agni’ vehicles, six small vehicles named ‘Varuna’ were also launched. Both ‘Agni’ and ‘Varuna’ make use of mist technology in which one drop of water is turned into 2,000 minute droplets to form mist. This helps reduce the amount of water required to douse a fire.

On display were three situations that are often dealt with by the fire personnel. One, where casualties have to be evacuated using ropes; two, when blasts involving fire occur and the last involving the use of Aerial Ladder Platform, which pumps water from a height of 54 metres. Thousands of schoolchildren, who took part in the event, took the show for real for a while.

Home Minister R Ashoka, who was present on the occasion, announced that the daily wages of the Home Guards and the Civil Defence personnel would be increased. Civil Defence personnel will get Rs 150 a day, up from Rs 70, while Home Guards will get Rs 200 a day, an increase  from Rs 150.

“The efforts of Home Guards and Fire and Emergency Services in Karnataka, particularly Bangalore, are commendable. The traffic police also deploy the Home Guards to help them in their daily work. Thus, it is important to improve their living standards,” said Ashoka.

He said all 174 fire stations across the State will be modernised and 25 new stations will be built.

A R Infant, DGP of Home Guards and Fire and Emergency Services, said the State had equipment and technology which were unmatched in the country.

“The three situations we displayed are the most commonly occurring ones and also the most difficult. We hold training programmes with many corporates and schools to ensure they evacuate people safely in case of fire,” said Infant. The State will soon import three more ladders which can go upto a height of 80 metres.

Governor H R Bhardwaj also took part in the event and highlighted the importance of a strong fire force.

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