TWO teams from the Pune-based 5th Battalion of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were airlifted on Thursday by an Air Force aircraft for deployment in West Bengal for evacuation, rescue and relief operations in areas hit by Cyclone Amphan.
An officer from the Battalion said the IAF transport aircraft carrying two NDRF teams took off from the Lohegaon Air Force base in Pune around 7.30 pm and is slated to be deployed in Amphan-affected areas after landing at Kolkata.
“This is a crucial deployment for NDRF, considering the fact that the teams will be facing two emergencies simultaneously, one that of the visible cyclone and another of the invisible Covid-19. Taking this into account, teams have been equipped and sensitised accordingly. NDRF has been training and equipping itself since the outbreak of Covid-19 to face and gear up for such complex emergencies. We have reformulated and tweaked our SoPs to operate in such situations.” said Sachchidanand Gawade, deputy commandant of the 5th Battalion.
Each battalion of the NDRF has 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel including engineering, technicians, electricians, dog squads and paramedics. The total strength of each battalion is 1,150. One such battalion – 5th Battalion – is stationed at Sudumbare near Talegaon Dabhade in Pune district.
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