GUWAHATI, June 24 - A joint mock exercise on industrial disaster emergency and response was conducted today at the IOCL plant at Abhoypur, North Guwahati by NDRF, SDRF, Fire Brigade, Assam Police, 108 ambulance service and the plant employees.
The 1st Battalion NDRF team assisted the plant employees in planning and coordination at the initial stage. Rescuers of the team assembled all required response tools and equipment in the exercise and demonstrated their usage and utility. Effective methodology and response drills were rehearsed and practised to ensure effective, speedy and safe operation with very limited equipment.
The purpose of conducting such industrial disaster response and mitigation exercises is to generate awareness among all sections of society and among first responders of disaster-prone areas in particular. Such exercises also develop better coordination among teams of various responding agencies, which is essential in real disaster situations.
Periodic awareness programmes are crucial in and around industrial setups because there is little or no warning of industrial chemical accidents and the loss incurred is very high, NDRF sources said. There are huge chances of loss of life, property, livelihood and damage to environment in such situations. Areas close to an industrial setup are under immediate threat.
Disaster response is not only the task of specialised groups. Community groups, youths, volunteers, NGOs, various authorities and civil administration also play a role in effective and accountable disaster management. Community should be aware of the hazardous installations and know-how to combat the situation. The local community has to be informed about the response steps to be taken in case of an accident. Also, community members should monitor the pollution levels of the industry and participate in mock drills for evacuation, the NDRF sources said.
About 155 personnel of NDRF, SDRF, Fire and Emergency Services, Assam Police, 108 ambulance service and employees of the plant took part in the drill.