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Civil defense volunteers prove their worth

The fire in Kochi Corporation's dumping yard at Brahmapuram since Friday has inspired the importance of State Civil Protection Volunteers to assist the Department of Fire and Rescue Services in dealing with emergencies.

53 civilian security volunteers drawn from the of 13 of the district's 18 firefighters actively assisted firefighters in Brahmapuram, where a major explosion occurred in the dumping yard on Friday afternoon. After being close to 2 pm, they were active until around 3 pm on Saturday.

Ernakulam accounts for 3,036 civil defense volunteers spread across 18 fire stations, of which 260 have undergone fire station and district-level training, while 180 had also completed state-level training and participated in the passing-out parade. The city was on 16 February. Volunteers are given three levels of training on six subjects related to disaster management, rescue and first aid administration.

“The Fire and Rescue Services Department is engaged in a voluntary process, which distinguishes more volunteers from inactive members by encouraging them to join the ranks. Each fire station must have at least 50 civil defense volunteers, with another 50 in reserve.

There is a systematic communication process to mobilize volunteers as soon as an emergency is reported. The vigilance is conveyed to the post warden, deputy post warden and five group captains, under which civilian security is organized within the limits of each fire station and mobilizes volunteers available primarily through social media and the fire force. Let's inform the authorities.

“Civil defense volunteers are instrumental in increasing the manpower available for disasters and rescue operations, allowing the force to rotate without any exhaustion,” said regional fire officer KK Shiju. Around 150 civil defense volunteers, including 23 from the district, were active in rescue operations at Pettimudi near Munnar, which was by devastating landslides in 2019.

Amal Paulose, a 26-year-old civil defense volunteer under the Pirvom fire station, was at his home when an alert about the fire in Brahmapuram reached him on Friday afternoon. “About 15 of us arrived at the fire station to go to the site by station vehicle. However, by then the team had left and then we reached Brahmapuram with our motorcycles, ”he said. Having only joined as a volunteer last year, Mr. Pauls has already participated in a of campaigns, including a major fire at a super market in Pirvom soon after completing training.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60 can join as a civil security volunteer through an online link provided by the Fire and Rescue Services Department. They are provided with uniforms and identity cards, so that they can have easy access to disaster and accident sites.

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