The first mock drill on fire and earthquake preparedness was conducted at Head office of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in association with Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense (FSCD) and Bangladesh Police on 04 March 2017. More than 300 officials, including 10 observers from different organization participated in the event.
The aim of the mock drill was to assess strengths and weaknesses of DAM, so that corrective measures can be undertaken for a better disaster response in future to minimize the loss and damages. The basic purpose of the mock drill was to generate awareness among DAM staff and to evaluate the level of preparedness and coordination among various Emergency Support Functionaries. In the run up to the mock drill exercise, various preparatory mock drills, orientation workshops, awareness programmes and extensive coordination campaigns were held for awareness generation. It was possible to develop and strengthen the earthquake preparedness, response and recovery plans and practice of standard operating procedures through the mock drill event.
The exercise started at 11:20 AM by sounding of fire alarm at a number of places in DAM head office. Mr. Abu Baker Jaman, Senior station officer of Mohammadpur Fire station had overall responsibility to conduct the exercise. The Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction Sector provided necessary assistance and support for the planning and conducts of the mock exercise.
The response of DSCD and Dhanmondi Police Station were prompt and reached within few minutes .Civil Defense workers were very quick in reacting to the scenario. The members of the National Urban Volunteers get themselves involved in the rescue operations, who have received training and capacity development support from Dhaka Ahsania Mission. Those volunteers are part of National volunteering program. Team leader coordinated with briefing session was held ahead of the event. A day long workshop was organized on 03 March 2017 for all the umpiring staff including officers and was provided a checklist for location. 06 sites had been selected by the authority where trained staff and volunteers were deployed as volunteers. The theme of the campaign was “Duck, Cover and Hold”.
A fire alarm was sounded at 11.21 am and everyone evacuated buildings at the selected sites. Simultaneously, information about the mock incident was conveyed to emergency control room. Soon after the receipt of the information of the incident, the FSCD, local police and other authorities started search & rescue operations and rescuer established staging area, 1st aid and psycho-social support camp. Resources like ambulances, mini trucks were deployed at the staging area as per requirement and availability of resources. Further, according to the FSCD guidelines, three groups: Operation, Planning and Logistics were set up as part of the Incident Command. The scenario earthquake struck at 11.20 AM and first report to this effect came in to FSCD Mohammadpur station at 11.23 AM from DAM’s HR division through mobile phone. According to report of loss as received from different spot were six Injuries, no missing persons. At 12.45 PM, a debriefing session was held in the Conference Room of DAM. The mock drill was organized with the financial support of Shifting the Power (STP) project. Honorable President of DAM and other senior officials took part in the Mock drill.