DERA GHAZI KHAN: The mother of a Rescue 1122 personnel who died while performing flood duty in Dera Ghazi Khan on Sept 6, has demanded a probe into violation of official procedures as to why her son was assigned field flood duty despite his medical conditions that declared him unfit for hard field duty.
Rescue 1122 ambulance driver Asif Sukhera was a patient with ischemic heart disease who died while performing flood duty. His death has highlighted data on such sick rescuers of the Punjab Rescue Service who are forced to perform their duty because of uncertainty in their job structure, as neither they can leave the job due to their financial requirements nor does the department provide them relief from hard duty despite having knowledge of their severe ailments.
The medical history of Sukhera shows he went through heart surgery a year and a half ago. His consultant doctor had prohibited him from doing a hard activity, which authorities allegedly ignored and assigned him a hard duty.
According to an official letter from the human resource department which was dispatched on Sept 21 to all district authorities, 85 rescuers of the Punjab Rescue Service have been suffering from multiple critical diseases.
The findings of the medical board suggest that Punjab emergency services require physically and mentally fit personnel who can efficiently respond to emergencies.
A physically, medically and mentally unfit person possesses strength for himself and for others in such a life-threatening emergency situation.
The 85 marked personnel are patients with asthma, COPD, Ischemic heart, pericardial effusion, cardiomyopathy, renal problems and failure, diabetes mellitus, carcinoma rectum, carcinoma colon, retinal detachment, skin diseases, neurological disorder, obstructive jaundice, femur fracture, tibia fracture, multiple fractures, patella fracture, leg hemiparesis, leg amputation, head injury, spinal injury, backache, anxiety and psychosis.
Sukhera died while performing flood duty while his colleague Manan, a patient with Ischemic heart disease, is still performing his duty in Kot Chhuta.
Regional Rescue Officer Dr Natiq Hiyat told Dawn that medical boards would be constituted by medical superintendents of hospitals of regions in the light of the list prepared by the human resource department regarding medically unfit personnel and a final decision would be taken on whether they are fit for duty or not.
He said the service structure had been approved and applied by the current provincial government of Parvez Elahi.
Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022