The Rajkot Fire Brigade has issued notices to at least 12 private Covid-19 hospitals across the city over inadequacies in their firefighting systems. The action comes days after a fire at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Uday Shivanand Covid Hospital left five patients dead.
Joint teams of officers from the health and electrification departments of Rajkot Municipal Corporation and the Rajkot Fire Brigade had conducted inspections at 25 private Covid-19 hospitals in the city after the November 27 fire.
“During the inspection, shortcomings were noticed in firefighting systems of 11 to 12 hospitals. We have served notices to these hospitals to address the inadequacies immediately or face action,” Ilesh Kher, the Chief Fire Officer of Rajkot, told The Indian Express on Monday.
Kher said the fire brigade has also decided to set up a facility for providing hospital staff training in fire safety and firefighting. “Under the guidance of Rajkot municipal commissioner Udit Agarwal, we have decided to set up this facility at the Emergency Response Centre (ERC) on Morbi Road. Till date, we were visiting respective hospital buildings to train their staff. But to overcome structural issues, like lack firefighting equipment at such hospitals, we have decided to provide training at our facility in the ERC. This will be a permanent set up and will be operational from Tuesday,” he said.
Kher said RK Maheshwari, the retired chief fire officer of Rajkot, has been appointed to conduct the training sessions at ERC. “These sessions would be two-and-half-hour long and we have plans to train hospital staff in batches of 25 to 30. We are doing it in good faith for all the hospitals but will accord priority to the staff of Covid hospitals,” Kher added.
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