Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force
The 1999 Super Cyclone affected 14 out of the 30 districts of the state. 8,962 precious human lives were lost and about 450 thousand cattle heads perished. 2 million houses a nd 1.84 million hectares of crop area were damaged. With the transport, telecom and power systems paralyzed; the entire coastal tract was devastated. The politico-administrative system and the economy of the state pointed to a significant gap in the whole process of handling disasters and their aftermaths. The vulnerability of the state, its people and the inadequate preparedness level called for a new approach to disaster management.
Five Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units were set up at Cuttack, Chatrapur, Balasore, Jharsuguda and Koraput in the first phase out of the personnel of Orissa State Armed police (OSAP) and Armed Police Reserve (APR) units to assist the Civil Administration at the time of calamities to clear relief lines, take up search & rescue operations and help in management of disasters.
Taking into consideration the commendable service of the ODRAF units in the recent calamities, the state government has created five more ODRAF units at Baripada, Bhubaneswar, Bolangir, Rourkela, Paradeep. Since personnel to man the new ODRAF units are not available, it has been decided to set up the new ODRAF unit at Orissa Fire Service Training Institute (OFSTI), Bhubaneswar to be identified as FIRE ODRAF. The fire service personnel will man the unit. The Fire ODRAF, Bhubaneswar will work as a central hub for coordinating disaster management activities in tandem with the State Emergency Operation Centre besides working as a first responder in case of any natural or human induced calamity in the State capital.
Equipment: Different types of emergency equipment (92) have been provided to ODRAF units to handle multi faceted operations like Water Rescue, Relief Line Clearance, Collapsed Structure Search and Rescue (CSSR), Medical First Responder (MFR), Transportation, Communication, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Logistics.Different equipment for different hazards have been provided as detailed below.
Flood: Inflatable Rubber Boats with Out Board Motors (OBM), Diving equipment, Inflatable tower light, Commando Search light, Generators, Trucks, Troop Carriers, Ambulances, Submersible Pumps etc.
Cyclones: Different types of Power Saws (Both petrol driven & electric driven), Cranes, Recovery Vans and Pay loader-cum Excavators etc.
Earth Quake, Road/ rail accidents: Different types of Hydraulic Rescue Tools like Cutter, Spreader, Combitool, Telescopic Ram Jack, Hydraulic Power Shore and R.C.C. Cutting Equipments etc. Apart from these major equipments, Breathing apparatus, Chemical Cartridges etc for search and rescue in the chemical hazards/ contaminated atmosphere have also been procured. To meet the power failure situation in case of disaster, 125 KVA Truck Mounted Generators for power back up to facilitate the rescue works. These equipments can run multiple rescue equipments at a time, along with providing light.
Maintenance of Equipment: Operation and Maintenance Manuals of emergency equipment have been prepared and provided to the ODRAF units for regular operation and maintenance of equipment. To keep all the equipment in operating condition, mock drills, testing, trials are carried out regularly.