HYDERABAD: 2020 was different. The work of police personnel and fire forces was more needed in maintaining lockdown. The Telangana State Disaster Response Force & Fire Services (TSDRFS) last year helped a lot in ensuring people are safe, not just from emergency situations but from the coronavirus as well.
TSDRFS officers provided their help in ensuring people stay at home during lockdown, kept an eye on hospitals to see if they properly followed the COVID safety protocols, while also being alert in case of an emergency.
The fire personnel went around the city spraying sodium hypochlorite in the government offices and other public places. During this process many firefighters ended up being victims of coronavirus. One officer even lost his life due to this. A total of 250 fire personnel recovered from the virus.
Spraying of disinfectants in open areas did not help much but the fire officers found another way. They did various campaigns to spread awareness. Short films, posters and other ways to spread information on social distancing and hygiene.
Regional Fire Officer-Central Region V. Papaiah said that they took up 223 surprise inspections and conducted over 1,000 mock drills during the lockdown time to ensure fire safety.
In 2020, the fire department had more than 7,000 emergency calls. Around 510 were rescue calls. They attended to calls reporting both big and small fires. Last year, there were no fire cases in regards to religious brawl.
There was a reduction in fire accidents caused by short circuits, smoking, gas boilers, etc. A total of 988 lives were saved last year. People were saved from either fire, rain or other emergencies.
In October the fire fighters became really busy due to the heavy rains in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The fire officers helped GHMC in providing help during the disaster. They helped in rescue operations and worked towards getting people out of flooded areas.