Community Rescue Volunteers set to tackle natural calamities

NDRF gives training to persons in environmentally sensitive areas in Kozhikode

Gearing up to fight natural calamities, Community Rescue Volunteers (CRV) in various environmentally sensitive areas of Kozhikode district have successfully completed their first round of training under the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). Rescue volunteers from hillside areas, which witnessed recurring landslips and flash floods, were the majority who benefited from the field-level training offered by seasoned professionals.

Heads of various local bodies said they got the support of a 12-member NDRF team to train the volunteer force as the first respondents to meet emergency situations. Though all of them were inducted into the force after a preliminary training, the help of NDRF was like a refresher programme to fine-tune their skills, they said.

NDRF officials said they would visit more vulnerable locations in the coming days and offer disaster management tips to local volunteers. According to them, many local rescue teams had already been trained in the area since their arrival here in May. There would be also more demonstrations again to explain rescue operations suitable to the area on different circumstances, they said.

Officials from Kizhakkoth grama panchayat said a team of 12 NDRF men had visited the vulnerable areas within their panchayat limits recently as part of assessing the situation and suggested mitigation activities. Based on the local body’s suggestion, a team would shortly offer a training programme to the volunteer group, they said. Apart from the training of NDRF, the grama panchayat authorities had invested their own funds for purchasing emergency rescue accessories to be used during the monsoon season.

The support of various voluntary organisations had also been sought to sponsor accessories for local rescue teams.

Learning lessons from the previous years’ incidents, a comprehensive disaster management plan incorporating local requirements had also been prepared by all village offices in the district in advance to mitigate monsoon-related disasters. One of the major initiatives was the creation of local social media groups for instant messaging in times of natural calamities.

Officials with the District-level Disaster Management Authority said they had a list of local facilities to be used as emergency relief camps. “Helplines are all operational 24×7 which will ensure better communication between various rescue agencies in critical times,” they said.

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