The frequent fire occurrences in the recent times has compelled the hospitals to ask themselves the most avoided question, “How safe arewe against fire?” In such a scenario, fire safety and security measures implemented in a planned way in Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai make it an interesting role model.
Breach Candy Hospital is one of the prominent hospitals in Mumbai city, situated on the coastline of South Mumbai. Many procedures in routine use, including Coronary Angioplasty, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Critical Care ICU and Hysteroscopy are performed here.
The hospital has been in existence for more than 50 years now. Initially it started as a 35 bed hospital, but now caters over 200 beds. The growth of the facility has been inorganic due to the then prevalent conditions andsharp growth in the demand of good medical facilities,making the hospital popular.
The challenges here were to plan, design and effectively implement a risk mitigation strategy for fire safety and security as a retrofit, which not only addresses the compliance and statutory requirements immediately but also assures long term sustainability. The geographical locations and the space constraints also posed restrictions while designing a risk mitigation strategy. The hospital decided to take up an intense exercise spread over six months to revamp its safety and security posture.
A long term road map was prepared that included the domains of People, Process,Technology and InfrastructuralImprovement measures. The solution was divided into two phases:
- Immediate Sealing Drills.
- Safety & Security Management
– through a third party outsourced leadership provided by Mahindra SSG.
A well-defined three stage approach was adopted. Firstly, the existing processes were planned for refinement. The approach was to plug as many loop holes possible. This was planned robe achieved by revamping the processes followed by training the people. The remaining gaps were plugged with the implementation of technological controls, including the security and safety controls..
immediately on the start of the implementation,definite results showed up. The employees were more informed about their roles during any crisis and were prepared to handle the available first aid and firefighting safety equipment. Other results achieved were:
- Security and Non-Security staffs trained in first res ponder training
- Sessions conducted for major fighting training for the-stakeholders.
- Training imparted on Fire Alarm system floor wise to all duty staff
- Floor Marshal Training conducted for the nominated personnel
- Safety and security policies and procedures drafted
- Fire evacuation plan drafted
- Partial evacuation drill conducted
Benefits to the HospitalSecurity awareness training for security guards included Hard Skills and Soft skills including communication skills training for security guards. The security guards were assessed on predefined parameters like discipline,alertness, turnout etc. Liaisoning with the fire authorities was anon-going activity conducted at various levels. A few mock fire evacuation drills in conjunction with the state fire department were conducted, along with search and carry operations with the state fire department personnel.
The overall posture of the hospital in the fire safety and security domains improved multi fold by having trained hospital staff and security personnel. A committe with the defined role was formed to handle emergencies.Deployment of appropriate manpower, equipment and comprehensive, safety / security plans enabled hospitals fire security preparedness.