MIRROR: G K Bhat
An approach to a problem in an organised manner is always better than an unorganised approach. Unorganised approach always leads to confusion. During fire incidents the time factor is most important than anything. If we able to control the fire with in three minutes, it is possible to quench the fire by using first aidfirefightingequipment. If we delay it more than that then there are all the chances of increasing the fire to the level of “out of control”. Therefore we should always pinpoint the responsibility of each and every person who are part of fire safety team. This is possible only if we design a proper fire safety organisation. When we design the fire safety organisation it should be controlled by one man and rest of the team have to support him, so that there is no confusion in passing the orders. A suggested fire safety organisation is given below.
The fire safety organisation should be headed a person who know the fire safety and capable of controlling the entire team with a skill of effective administrative control. Generally he is called“Chief Fire marshal”. He should be supported by a fire fighting team headed by a well-qualified person in fire safety, who is called fire safety co-ordinator or Fire marshal. There should be a team responsible to salvage the important material and people working at the affected area may be called as rescue team. The third team should be a team who can provide first aid to the people injured and take them to the hospital if required, may be called as First aid or medical team. The fourth team should be providing technical support to the fire fighters may be called maintenance or engineering support team.
During major fire incidents it is impossible to the teams to carry out their respective tasks with few members of the team. To overcome this problem, there should be additional people who should support the team. They are also be adequately trained to carry out their task.These people can be selected from each department. However these members can join the main team on request during fire incident, but should be kept ready and standby. During the fire safety, it is essential and most important taskis carrying out the headcount. The head count has to be carried out to ensure that no one is trapped at the place of fire or inside the effected building. If somebody is trapped, they should be rescued on top priority. It is a difficult task. To carry out the head count there should be nominated people, who will assist the fire coordinator or the Fire marshal by making the people to assemble at a pre designated area and carry out the headcount. These people may be called assistant fire coordinators or fire wardens. The fire warden, core team and the supporting teams must be well trained by undergoing periodical trainings. The sole responsibility of the training and practicing the fire safety drills is of chief fire marshal. Name of the people of the fire safety organisation should be displayed at prominent places of the building.
The fire safety organisation must be well documented, signed and kept as a control document. The document and its contents should be reviewed periodically so that if there is any change in the scenario, work practice and structural changes of the building can be incorporated. The role and responsibilities of each individual of the entire team has to be written down in detail without any ambiguity. The same has to be given in writing to each member of the team and acknowledgement has to be taken and kept as part of the document. Whenever the document is amended, the same has to be recorded. Only the chief fire marshal should be authorised to get the amendment carried out.
The possible scenario of fire emergency has to be identified and action during the eventuality of fire accident has to be spelt out in detail. The same will be discussed in our next topic.
G K Bhat