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Praise for National Fire Authority Officers

Praise for National Fire Authority Officers
Members of the NFA team who trekked and swam for three hours to get two pregnant women safely to Ba Mission Hospital. Photos: Sabrina Khan
April 02
11:27 2018

Six firefighters braved risky conditions to take two heavily-pregnant women to safety when flood waters in the Ba River broke its banks at Yalalevu, leaving the two without any medical assistance at their homes.

The rescue effort meant the firefighters had to help the women onto inflatable rafts and swim and walk with the women hoisted on their shoulders for three hours from Moto to Ba Mission Hospital.

A businesswoman who witnessed the rescue praised the gallant effort by the firefighters.

Sabrina Khan stood in disbelief as she witnessed the rescue first-hand.

Police officers and members of the public patrol a flooded Nadi Town yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Police officers and members of the public patrol a flooded Nadi Town yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

“Hats off to the NFA Ba officers with assistance from the general public in helping with safe transport to Ba Mission of two pregnant women,” she said.

“It wasn’t easy swimming and walking all that way for three hours. It was a breath-taking moment I salute them for their work as they carried the women across.”

Ms Khan recounted the ordeal, saying that about 12 midday she helped to get the women from their homes to the area which was flooded, after which the NFA crew took over.

She received a call from the Ba District Officer to assist the NFA personnel to cross various places because of landslides and flooding.

“Roads were closed to all access until they came to my home. They managed to cross the flooded area and courageously walked and swam for three hours. At Nasolo they were stranded for one hour.”

Members of the NFA team who trekked and swam for three hours to get two pregnant women safely to Ba Mission Hospital. Photos: Sabrina Khan

Members of the NFA team who trekked and swam for three hours to get two pregnant women safely to Ba Mission Hospital. Photos: Sabrina Khan

The group of rescuers were urged to take a route around the goat pen and had to climb a hilly spot then back into the river since currents were too swift to overcome.”

When this edition went to press last night the two mothers were safely resting at the Ba Mission Hospital.

And that was not all the six men did.

After taking the women to safety, the six swam to reach another NFA vehicle which had come to fetch them.

From there, they rushed to near the mouth of Ba River where a family of seven Americans were clinging onto their vehicle which was on the verge of being washed away. The crew members set up the ropes and rafts and managed to get all seven, which included teenagers, to safety.

After this, they were alerted to a number of families stranded in their homes at Yalalevu.

They took off back to Yalalevu, where they had to break into a house and remove a young family of five people who were in danger of drowning.

This team helped more than 40 people to safety yesterday while other police and NFA teams focused on areas in Lautoka, Ba and Nadi.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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