Pune: 1 network, 1 night firefighter, no team dedicated to firefighters, the security measures of the YCM hospital are not up to the task


Following last week’s tragic fire in the Intensive Care Unit of Ahmednagar Government Hospital, the administration of the Yeshwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital (YCMH) said it had increased fire safety measures, but some glaring shortcomings came to light after the recent safety audit.

“A fire safety audit and an electrical audit of hospitals have been carried out. Some deficiencies were noted in the audit report and therefore we are taking action to address these issues, ”YCMH Dean Dr Rajendra Wable told The Indian Express. Managed by Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), YCMH with 750 beds is the largest hospital in the city.

During the checks, it appeared that YCMH did not have a dedicated fire officer or team. A single firefighter worker is present overnight as most of the fires have been reported at other hospitals across the state. Of the eight hospitals managed by the PCMC across the industrial city, only YCMH underwent the audit.

“We have two firefighters permanently assigned to the YCM hospital during the two shifts during the day. At night, one of our employees is at work, ”said PCMC Fire Chief Kiran Gawde.

“We don’t have enough staff… But even if a staff member is assigned, the firefighters are located a few minutes from the YCM hospital. In the event of a fire, as has happened once in the past, we reached the hospital in less than five minutes.

Whether it’s fire extinguishers, sprinklers or fire hydrants, we have all the equipment in place at YCMH, ”he added.

“Most fires are caused by short circuits. The electrical service must ensure that all electrical equipment and wires are in order. It is necessary to remain very vigilant on the electrical system because its failure could lead to a major fire. “

Gawde claimed that in addition to their own trained staff members stationed at YCMH, they donated the hospital.

Joint City Engineer Santosh Chavan said, “The YCMH electrical system is in order and our team is constantly monitoring it. “

Chavan said YCMH has an automatic system in place in which the siren goes off, as soon as a fire or smoke is noticed. “Once the siren goes off, the system is automatically activated. We have fire hydrants on every floor of the hospital, including the intensive care unit. They have water pipes 30 meters long. They reach any corner of the floor or the intensive care unit, ”he said.

However, for a hospital with 750 beds on six floors, only one network is present. “Although there is only one cable operator, we have a building management system in place at the hospital. The line has with it a generator operator, an assistant and security personnel to help it, ”said Chavan.

Chavan said his department is constantly checking and rechecking the electrical system not only at YCMH, but other hospitals as well. “The intensive care unit is a priority on our agenda. We regularly ensure that all electrical devices remain secure… ”he said.

The YCMH has three intensive care units in addition to the NICU and PICU for babies. Dr Wable acknowledged that training for the intensive care unit was very necessary. “The Ahmednagar incident is a red flag. Since the patients have died even after being released from the intensive care unit at Ahmednagar Hospital, we will need to take additional measures and train staff to that end, ”he said.

Dr Wable said that according to established standards a dedicated fire team and a firefighter are needed. “According to my information, the administration of the YCMH had made a request to the PCMC some time ago for a dedicated fire team to the hospital. We will revive demand, ”he said.

The fire chief said YCMH does not have a central air conditioning system. “We have divided the CAs in the intensive care unit. In the case of a centralized air conditioning system, the smoke spreads quickly to other parts of the hospital, ”he said.


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