CHENNAI: For the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS), rescue operations in the flood-ravaged city was no mean task, as its personnel were on their toes for over a week, saving over 800 pregnant women.
Unlike during Tsunami and cyclone Thane, where they were deployed only in the aftermath of the disasters, this time they had to brave the flood and rain.
Sources said about 500 personnel from other districts were roped in. As many as 75 boats were deployed in 42 points in various parts of Tambaram, Mudichur, Perumbakkam, Velachery, Madipakkam, Sholinganallur, Ekattuthangal, West Mambalam, RK Nagar, Washermanpet, Tondiarpet and Thiuruvotriyur. Between December 1 and 5, TNFRS personnel have rescued about 2 lakh people.
According to a senior Fire official, as many as 2,04,682 persons were rescued. “We ferried them to safety in boats. We also rescued 650 patients from city hospitals and 410 patients from a private hospital in Perumbakkam. We recieved as many as 8,000 SoS calls from those stranded, while the TNFRS Control receives an average of 100 calls per day,” he said.
“Since the telecommunication networks were down, we used walkie-talkies to deploy rescue teams,” he said.
“As many as 105 pets stranded were also rescued in the second spell of rains. We spotted abandoned pets including parrots, kitten and dogs. We believe their owners might have abandoned them while rushing out of their houses. We traced the owners of some of them, while the rest were handed over to the Blue Cross,” said another senior Fire official.