Workshop on 'Fire Fighting' at ULAB
Promiti Prova Chowdhury
A three day long workshop titled 'Urban Volunteer Training on Collapsed Structure, Search, Rescue, Fire Fighting and First Aid' was held at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB). It was jointly organised by the Center for Sustainbale Development (CSD), research affiliate of ULAB and ULAB Sustainable Development Club. The training was provided by Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD). The workshop took place from January 26-28.
A day long practical training session was held on the second day of the workshop at Ramchandrapur. The rest of the two days of the workshop had theory classes on topics like volunteerism, earthquake management, operational security, searching methods and victim marking, introduction to tools, personal protective equipments and accessories for rescuing, first aid and observing victims, types of injuries, fire extinguishing and evacuation.
Students having fire drills at Ramchandrapur. courtesy: ULAB
The practical session included mock fire drills and also familiarised the workshop participants with rescue tools like bolt cutter, search camera, sledge hammer, hacksaw, chisel, tin snip, hydraulic jack etc by asking them use these tools practically. Irin Fahinur Sultana, a fourth year student of Business Administration at ULAB who was also a workshop participant said, “Through this training we learned the usage of different types of fire extinguishers like, water, powder and foam based fire extinguishers. We also got to know that human body is not subjected to extinguishers. The victim needs to roll down or be covered with a blanket if on fire. Moreover my perception changed about our Fire Service and Civil Defence. Now I know how hard they work.”
Abdus Salam, Training Commander, FSCD and Assistant Instructor of the workshop said, “Bangladesh is now very prone to natural disasters like earthquake. Only 6000 workers all over the country are not sufficient. So we encourage and welcome more volunteers who will be able to help their community as the first responders in such crises. We are providing training to people of different professions. We have already conducted workshops at BUET, Eastern University, Lalmatia Mohila College, Jagannath University, IBAIS University and Eden College. Our next target is Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. The response and performance of students are remarkable. They are very active and spontaneous.”
Every participant had to sit for an exam at the end of the workshop. Five highest scorer students were selected who are now recognised as Urban Volunteers of Fire Service. Every participant was provided with certificates and their information was entered at the official website of FSCD. The target is to bring out about 62,000 volunteers across the country.
Another participant Tamzidul Islam Kanon, Marketing Executive of ULAB said, “Whenever I saw a fire mishap taking place around neighbourhood I used to go there but could not do anything. However, with such training now I can also help. We will grow as ULAB rescue team and in case of any emergency we can help ourselves. It is like a new identity, becoming a part of government.”
Brigadier General Abu Nayeem Md Shahidullah, Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence was the special guest of the opening ceremony while Professor Imran Rahman, acting Vice-Chancellor of ULAB, was the chief guest. More than fifty faculty members, students, administration officers and administration staff members attended the workshop. The participants were presented with certificates by the Fire Service.
The initiative was funded by Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) and sponsored by UKaid, Norwegian Embassy, SIDA, Australian Aid and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).