Mumbai fireman dies of heart attack during training

Mumbai, Aug 16 (IANS) A Mumbai Fire Brigade fireman died of a suspected heart attack while he was receiving training on handling breathing apparatus here on Friday, a top official said.

"The incident happened post-lunch hours when the firemen had reassembled in the classroom for further training. He complained of uneasiness and was rushed to the LTMG Sion Hospital where he was declared dead," Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) P.S. Rahangdale told IANS.

The deceased has been identified as Vijay Balkrishna Malvankar, aged around 48, and attached to the Dindoshi Fire Brigade in Malad east.

According to Rahangdale, training in breathing apparatus is an integral part of fire training for enhancing skills to handle big and small fire emergencies when firemen face intense heat, dense smoke and poisonous fumes.

"In the recent fire incidents in the Bandra Telephone Exchange and in Nagdevi building, we had to use more than 250 breathing apparatuses owing to the intense heat, thick smoke and toxic fumes emanating from the burning sites," Rahangdale explained.

Earlier on Friday, Malvankar had successfully undergone the refresher training at the BA Gallery in Wadala which comprised 10-12 minutes of practicals of donning on/off the breathing apparatus sets, high pressure and low pressure tests, besides other aspects, he said.

Terming the incident as "very unfortunate", Rahangdale said unless such critical training and refresher courses are imparted on a regular basis to all firemen, it would be virtually impossible for MFB to tackle fire emergencies in a huge city like Mumbai.

--IANS

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