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Abdul Khan Thanks Officers for Helping Evacuate Patients to Safety

Abdul Khan Thanks Officers for Helping Evacuate Patients to Safety
Lautoka Police officers assist with the evacuation of patients to the car park during the fire on December 5, 2017. Photo: Police Media Cell
December 08
13:51 2017

The efficient evacuation of patients by Police officers during a fire at the Lautoka Hospital on Tuesday morning has been put down to continuous drills for such situations.

Police officers together with Republic of Fiji Military Force personnel, Fiji Corrections Service officers and the general public helped evacuate patients as fire destroyed the operating theatre and x-ray department.

Divisional Police Commander West, Acting Senior Superintendent (SSP) Abdul Khan, was at the hospital from 2am till 6am.

He was back at work by 7am.

“I was so proud to lead these 65 Police officers, especially the 22 cadets who worked tirelessly in getting the patients out,” Acting SSP Khan said.

“I commend them for their being up from the wee hours of that morning and then report for duty at 7am – that shows their dedication and the tireless work of being a Police officer and I am so proud of them.

“I am proud to say I led such a dedicated and capable group of Police officers.”

Aside from this, he also made sure that they had enough officers carrying out normal duties.

“Usually during some situations like this, criminals know we would be using a lot of Police officers and then try to carry out illegal activities.”

One way in curtailing any threats of criminal activities was the setting up of snap road blocks in Lautoka by officers.

Also Police officers were on foot duty and in Police vehicles throughout the night.

Such planning has been attributed to continued assessments and rehearsals for such emergencies.

Acting SSP Khan said they received the call at around 1.33am and his officers were at the hospital within 10 minutes.

Their quick response showed the Police force and its officers’ readiness, even at a time when one would think they were asleep.

“At the same time, I had officers from Ba, Namaka and Nadi on standby should we have required more assistance in the evacuation,” he said.

“Our new cadets in Lautoka were amazing during the evacuation and I commend them.

“I think everyone should thank the Police Commissioner for the new recruits programme.”

He said the first priority was clearing the car park of the vehicles parked there and evacuating the patients.

“First they came and were placed on mattresses placed on the ground but after that we started bringing the beds out and luckily the weather held out.

“I had Police trucks and our buses on standby in case they needed to send some patients to the Nadi Hospital.

“Everything went smoothly and this could all be put down to being prepared and carrying out exercises for such situations.”

He also paid tribute to the officers of the RFMF and the Fiji Corrections Services who were also present assisting with patients.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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