Around 1,000 community volunteers trained in disaster prevention, mitigation and management will be roped in for rescue operations during this monsoon. The BMC has also decided to use this trained manpower to create awareness and impart disaster management lessons in vulnerable areas.
The Aapda Mitra/Sakhi training programme is a national-level programme being run in 350 disaster-prone districts in India. The first batch of this training programme started on January 9 in Mumbai. The BMC, along with officials of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), trained 1,000 citizens from January 9 to March 31. The 12-day training session aims at community-based risk reduction and saving lives in the golden hour of an accident or disaster.
Issues during monsoons
During monsoons, the city witnesses incidents of building collapse, landslides, and flooding in low-lying areas. Mumbai Fire Brigade officials and a team of the NDRF are deployed for rescue operations during any disaster. This training session has turned out to be very helpful in recent incidents in the city where the Aapda Mitra voluntarily helped victims in road accidents and saved lives. So the BMC has now decided to send these volunteers to create awareness at vulnerable spots in the city.
Volunteers to be 'divided into teams on ward levels'
"They will be divided into teams on ward levels, which will be helpful for communication during the monsoon to alert citizens. These volunteers are trained in basic search and rescue, community-based first aid, CPR, controlling bleeding, basic fire safety, lifting and moving patients, rope rescue techniques, and improvised techniques. So they can impart first responder training to people in landslide-prone areas and create awareness through street play," said civic sources.
Additional municipal commissioner Sanjeev Kumar said, "Though we have our manpower, which is deployed during rescue operations, the volunteers from the community will be of great help for communication, to reach people, and even in rescue operations during the monsoon." The volunteers are doctors, nurses, teachers, housewives, and fire personnel who were willing to work for the community. They have been given 112 items, such as an emergency kit, a life jacket, a helmet, shoes, a torch, a first aid box, etc.
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