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Rehearsing To Save Lives At The Central Bank

Published on: 2010-12-16 17:36:33
Rehearsing To Save Lives At The Central Bank
The Central Bank complex was a hive of activity and excitement as the Fire and Rescue Unit of the SLAF in collaboration with the Colombo Fire Brigade conducted a successful fire fighting and rescue exercise on the morning of 16 December, 2010.


35 personnel from  the SLAF Fire Unit joined forces with 15 firefighters from the Colombo Fire Brigade for a fire drill which was designed primarily to prepare the employees in the complex for an emergency situation.


This SLAF fire drill was carried out under the instructions of the Commanding Officer of the SLAF Fire Unit, Wing Commander  Ruwan Jayasinghe, under the supervision of Squadron Leader C.P Hettiarachchi, the Officer in Charge of the unit.


Speaking to SLAF Media Squadron Leader Hettiarachchi had this to say: “This is the second successful fire drill we conducted this year. Following the successful response at Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, we chose Central Bank as our second location. Both are leading state institutions housed in high rise buildings, a reason which makes it essential that the employees are well prepared in the event of a fire.”


Since the terrorist attack at Central bank in 1996, no fire has occurred at the premises up to date. But unlike the previous time where several were injured in the hasty and panicky situation, the personnel will be well informed to face an adverse situation as a result of excercises of this nature.


The Fire unit had planned a rescue operation of the employees in 3 categories and employees were made aware of the rescue patterns accordingly. At the sounding of the fire alarm, Central Bank personnel evacuated the building within a matter of a few minutes as a simulated fire blazed atop the front of the complex. The second and third phases of the rescue operation focused on taking personnel who were trapped within the building to safety.


 The SLAF Fire and Rescue Unit employed 2 Bronto Sky Lifters to rescue employees of the upper floors while staff on the lower floors was rescued using inflated landing gear. Fire trucks with heavy duty water hoses doused the simulated flames simultaneously. The rescue personnel also demonstrated CPR maneuvers and evacuated injured civilians to ambulances.

In addition SLAF firemen swung on ropes to display some daring rescue efforts, climbing down the walls carrying individuals in safety harness while in one hair raising rescue the SLAF Fireman carried an individual on ropes strung from the Central bank to an adjoining building.


The effective rescue operation was carried within a time of around 30 minutes which concluded with the bank employees applauding the dedicated efforts of the SLAF Firemen. 

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