BENGALURU: State Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel saved the day when the low-lying areas of the city were recently flooded by the rains.
The department was actively involved in rescue and draining water. City Express traces its contributions.
On June 27, the Jayanagar fire station received an alert that Kodichikknahalli was flooded and the water level was rising rapidly. Department personnel rushed there, part of the way in a boat.
“We found a six-member family, including two senior citizens and two children, stranded in their home,” P M Nagesha, District Fire Officer, told City Express. “They were screaming for help as their single-storey house was almost entirely submerged.”
They were waiting on the terrace, with incessant rain beating down on them, he recalled. “When we got them down, it was an emotional moment,” he added.
Guruprasad, among those rescued, said he and his family were in a state of panic. “I didn’t know what to do. My aged parents were also terrified,” he added.
The Kodichikknahalli resident has suffered a damage of more than `10 lakh. “What’s important is that we survived, thanks to the Fire Department,” he said.
A rescue team member, who wished to remain anonymous, said pregnant women and senior citizens were first priority.
“We took them to a safe location by boat,” he said. “Most vehicles parked in the locality were nearly submerged.”
The rescue team was unable to reach an elderly couple who were on the first floor of their house. “They couldn’t climb down the stairs, so we carried them down on chairs,” said a fireman with the Jayanagar station.
Ade-watering pump, wich can draw off 6,000 litres a minute, was used to drain the streets of water.
“The Met Department had warned us of heavy rains, so we were able to plan well, and managed to avoid casualties,” said C Basavanna, Chief Fire Officer (East). “Around 150 fire and other staff were involved in the rescue.”
The depatment staff also went door-to-door distributing food, drinking water and medicine to the flood-affected.
Did the department face any difficulties performing these tasks? “It is our duty to safeguard people, and we are happy to do it,” the officer said with a smile.
On July 27, the staffers’ day began early in the morning, another senior officer chipped in. They could not break for lunch, and only ate in the evening.
“Many of our phones had stopped working after they got wet. So no calls, even ones from family, could came through,” he added.