CHENNAI: The fire control room on the terrace of the fire service headquarters on Greams Road finds itself in a tight spot and the Control room in-charge Station Fire Officer D Andrew Joseph Selvaraj is a worried man.
The failure of mobile networks means that they cannot contact their men on the ground immediately. The control room itself is run on three diesel generators as there is no power supply.
“We are managing through our mikes but we could have done better if there were better communication devices. All our strengths are there on the ground including our Director,” Andrew said.
The fire services headquarters wears a deserted look except for the control room. “People are calling in from other districts and states enquiring about their relatives. We could only give them hope,” said S Parameshwaran, a fireman.
Some of them call asking for essentials to be distributed as they do not wish to come out of their houses.
The control room personnel guide the frantic callers to be at the highest point of their residence and call for help when they spot a rescue team on boat.
At Ashok Nagar, rescue teams ferry stranded people from the residential areas of Jafferkhanpet, MGR Nagar, Ekattuthangal by
boats. “We also distribute food and water to some residents. Our personnel on ground have arranged for essentials,” the Deputy Director Priya Ravichandran told Express.
She gives a nod of approval when asked about the communication problem. “We are managing though by charging our mikes in our vehicles,” she said. According to a fireman, the rescue personnel have never come across a rescue operation of this scale.