CHITRAL: MPA Maulana Hidayatur Rahman has demanded of the government to take notice of the repeated failure of Rescue-1122 in extinguishing fire in Chitral as its firefighting staff is not properly trained.

He said that the staffers of Rescue-1122 even did not know how to open the nozzle and connect the hose with the water tanker.

He said that he personally observed the inability of the staff last night when fire broke out in Chew Bazaar and gutted five shops.

Flanked by Tajjar Union Chitral president Shabbir Ahmed Khan and others here on Tuesday, the MPA said that the workers of Rescue-1122 arrived Chew Bazaar half-an-hour late although the distance was hardly one kilometre.

He added that about 20 minutes were wasted by the firefighters to connect hose pipes to the water tanker and start extinguishing the fire.

Mr Rahman said that the local volunteers struggled hard to control the fire and save a nearby petrol pump.

Speaking on the occasion, Shabbir Ahmed Khan said that the previous government recruited non-locals in Rescue-1122 and they did not know the locality of the affected place.

He said that it was not the first incident of the failure of Rescue-1122 to extinguish the fire timely. He demanded of the chief minister to compensate the affected shopkeepers.

Meanwhile, about 196,698 patients were admitted to district headquarters hospital last year including 56,749 cases of emergency and 7,995 cases of surgery.

Dr Israrullah, the medical superintendant of the hospital, told Dawn that it was the highest number of patients recorded in any district headquarters hospital of the province. He said that it showed dependency of the local population on the secondary healthcare system of the district.

Giving data of the year 2018, Dr Israrullah said that 20,770 patients were admitted as indoor patients including 4,201 cases of medicine, 3,286 cases of surgery, 4,827 cases of paediatrics, 5,370 cases of gynecology, 1,901 cases of ENT and 503 cases of orthopedics.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2019