Hyderabad: In the wake of Cyclone Phailin, the Andhra Pradesh government is trying to set up a State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) to ensure speedy deployment of rescue teams to tackle natural and man-made calamities.
The force, being raised on the lines of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), will soon be deployed in all 23 districts to attend to the exigencies, fire department officials said.
The SDRF will initially have a strength of 1,000 personnel and 500 of them would be trained in rescue and relief operations in the first phase, a senior official said.
"In every district we want to have one SDRF team comprising 45 members. Each team will have 30 personnel drawn from police and 15 from fire services departments. More teams will be stationed in Hyderabad," Director General of State Disaster Response and Fire Services, N Sambasiva Rao told a news agency.
The SDRF will act as the first responder and take the responsibility of providing immediate response to all disasters. Depending on the severity of the disasters, other agencies including Army, Navy, NDRF personnel will be called in for rescue and relief works, he said.
"Andhra Pradesh is prone to cyclones and floods. We want to develop expertise (to tackle such disasters) that are frequenting the state," Rao explained adding that the SDRF will be raised to the level of NDRF in due course.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had earlier suggested setting up of SDRF teams to be distributed in different places, he said.
With Fire Services being the nodal agency, the constitution of SDRF teams, training to personnel, equipment required, fund allocation among other issues were being discussed now, he said, adding the department has acquired advanced and sophisticated equipment related to flood rescue.