BMC wants ramps at city hospitals

The BMC has learned from the mistakes of the AMRI Hospital fire in Kolkata and is taking precautions to make sure city hospitals are equipped to handle emergency situations. Fire safety audits will include checking for ramps to evacuate patients

The BMC wants city hospitals to be prepared in case of an emergency. This includes measures to make sure evacuation of patients is efficient enough after it came to light about how patients during the AMRI Apollo hospital fire in Kolkata were evacuated from windows, in the absence of better infrastructure.

On Tuesday, Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar met with Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar, chief engineers of the BMC, health officials and hospital deans to discuss a plan of action. Now, audits will be conducted at all major city hospitals that have over 100 beds to check for violations of the Maharashtra Fire Prevention Act 2006. In Mumbai, 67 hospitals have more than 100 beds, of which 36 are private hospitals.

The audit will also check whether hospitals have a ramp on all floors of the building to evacuate incapacitated patients on wheel beds or wheel chairs in case of a disaster.

"A plan of how patients can be evacuated during an emergency situation is necessary to make sure they are not in pain while being evacuated. During an emergency, lifts can't be used  and we have to be prepared for such a scenario," said Rahul Shewale, chairman of BMC's standing committee.

The BMC has asked architect Pankaj Joshi to design a ramp, which will be made mandatory in all hospitals.
A fire safety committee comprising of the divisional fire officer, station fire officer and the medical chief of the hospital will be created to implement fire guidelines, train personnel and conduct mock drills.

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