BHUBANESHWAR: 'Come hell or high water' is a phrase associated with dogged determination. The Fire Service personnel of Kendrapara proved that on Wednesday by moving a 20-year-old pregnant woman out of her village after clearing 22 uprooted trees barring the way and helping her deliver in their vehicle.
Amidst heavy rainfall and gale wind triggered by super cyclone Amphan, the woman gave birth to a baby girl inside the Odisha Fire Service vehicle when the firefighters were rushing her to a Community Health Centre (CHC).
At about 9 am, when the storm was passing parallel to the Odisha coast, the Mahakalapada Fire Station received a call to help Janaki, the pregnant woman, get to a hospital as the ambulance was not able to reach because roads were blocked by uprooted trees.
Janaki's husband Hatin Sethi phoned the ambulance at 6 am but the emergency vehicle could not proceed beyond Mangalpur due to the trees on the road. A concerned Hatin then called the Mahakalapada Fire Station requesting help to shift his wife to a hospital.
On receiving the call, two fire service teams with men and equipment rushed to the spot. Braving strong winds and heavy rainfall, they cleared about 22 trees felled by the gale wind on the road by using power saws before proceeding towards the couple's house, said Deputy Fire Officer PK Dash.
"We were going to the hospital but my wife gave birth to a baby girl in the vehicle. I was very nervous but both of them are fine now and will be discharged from the hospital on Thursday," Hatin told The New Indian Express over phone.
The Fire service personnel put in a tremendous effort to provide assistance to my wife. They took us to Mahakalapada CHC for further treatment and their timely and dedicated efforts saved two precious lives, the husband added.
Hatin, a farmer, said the Fire service personnel's immediate assistance will be etched in his memory throughout his life.