Crisis in firefighting management

Fire accidents are happening one after another across the country. Most of the time in the capital, the fire fighters are facing problems in extinguishing the fire due to lack of water. Obstacles preventing the entry of vehicles carrying water on the narrow road. City roads, factories, hotels, shopping malls do not have fire hydrants. This increases the loss of life and damage in fire. There are still no fire service stations in many upazilas of the country. As a result, when there is a fire, fire service personnel from another upazila rush to provide service. Time is wasted on roads in emergency situations. In several parts of the capital, the water carrying vehicles could not enter the narrow streets, there was not enough water in the reserve tanks under the houses and the water reservoirs in different parts of the city were filled and the buildings were built. On the night of February 20, 2019, 71 people died in a fire in the chemical godown of Churidhatta in Old Dhaka. While trying to control the fire there, the fire service personnel faced shortage of water. Vehicles carrying water could not enter the flooded lane. There was not enough water in the reserve tanks of various houses. Water had to be piped from far away. Apart from this, WASA and City Corporation vehicles were also seen bringing water to extinguish the fire. Urban planner professor Dr. Adil Muhammad Khan said, ‘Most of the areas in our country are unplanned. Where cities are built unplanned, essential things like fire hydrants are not maintained or respected. It is not complicated to arrange this if the authorities want. It is important to provide security to the people who live in the city. A human life is worth a lot. The government and the state have to make many concessions to save that life. Must be very strict. No rules are followed by ordinary people. He has to obey. The state has to create that space for the collective good.’ Urban planners and experts say that in a planned city, ‘fire hydrants’ are placed near various roads to extinguish fires. Which is directly connected to the water pump and provides extra water pressure. If there is a fire somewhere, the fire service personnel will open the hydrant bulb and put the pipe to sprinkle water as soon as they reach there and immediately the water will come out at a higher speed than usual. With which it is possible to bring the fire under control easily and quickly. Experts say that even if the city of Dhaka is not developed in a planned manner, it is possible to install ‘street hydrants’ throughout Dhaka city if the government and city officials want. This requires the will of those responsible. Urban planners consider it shameful that the city of Dhaka, which is surrounded by rivers, cannot put out the fire due to lack of water. Many upazilas of the country do not have fire service stations. According to the Department of Fire Services and Civil Defence, there are 493 fire stations in the country. If there is a fire in a place where there is no station, cars are rushing from another upazila. This is wasting time, increasing the amount of damage. Former Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defense Department, Brigadier General (Retd.) Abu Naeem Md. Shahidullah said that fire control management should be emphasized to prevent accidents. Accidents are happening from electricity, gas. Therefore, the concerned institutions cannot avoid responsibility. The old line ruptured and the gas leaked out. Many times accidents happen due to electricity.

Therefore, an inter-ministerial committee should be formed and regularly supervised on the institutions involved in the construction of buildings. He also said, ‘People should be aware. Quality raw materials and products must be used while constructing buildings. Buildings should be constructed and maintained as per rules. Only then the risk of accidents can be reduced. Otherwise, such loss of life cannot be accepted. The suffering of those who are wounded and suffering death cannot be tolerated. Everyone should be careful so that no one else falls into such a situation.’

The article is in Bengali

Tags: Crisis firefighting management

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