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At Govt Hospital, Fire Safety In Name Only

A reality check of the government hospital in city reveals that most of them are ill-equipped to deal with an exigency arising out of a fire accident as the fire safety equipment is outdated and out of order.

A visit to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital associated with Government Medical College revealed that even the water hoses needed to fill tanks of the fire safety vehicles are missing. The equipment made of brass has been stolen by the miscreants and system has been rendered useless.

Even the glasses of fire alarm boxes were seen broken. These glasses are required to be broken in case of fire to raise an alarm. The new building blocks at the hospital do have fire-extinguishers hanging on the walls, but in old buildings these are missing.

An employee said: “I can bet none of the employees knows how to use a fire-extinguisher in case of a fire. These have been hanging here for years and it is not sure that if these are still in working order.” He said at least employees should be trained in basic skills of disaster management.  As the hospitals have large quantities of combustible chemicals, the accidental fire at the place can turn ugly in case of negligence. Besides, as most of patients are unable to move on their own, it can make the rescue efforts difficult.

The hospital witnessed a fire accident in its basement of the emergency block two years ago. With 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, after whom the hospital is named, the government had announced to upgrade infrastructure at the hospital.

Medical Superintendent Dr JS Kular said: “We will change the equipment soon, which is not in working order.” He said a demand for the same has already been sent. – The Tribune