A 40-year-old rescuer, a father of six, died during a running test as part of a training course at the Punjab Rescue 1122 Academy Thokar Niaz Beg on Tuesday.
Babar Hussain, a resident of Hafizabad, was employed in the department 16 years back. He was undergoing training for the last few days. He was required to pass a running test in less than 10 minutes to pass the exams.
Reportedly, he was not medically fit and was suffering from stomach issues the night before the test.
An official privy to the development shared with The Express Tribune that the victim fell while running on the track. It took few minutes to put him on a stretcher to shift him to the hospital as the stretcher was not already untied, a violation of SOP.
The victim was shifted to Lahore Jinnah Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.
The diagnosis by doctors available with The Express Tribune read, “Patient received in M/E. No central pulses and no respiratory efforts, no brain stem reflexes”. However, Rescue 1122 spokesperson maintained that despite the stern efforts of the doctors, the victim could not be revived.
An official shared with The Express Tribune that this is the second rescuer to die during the running test during the year.
SI Zahoor Ahmed died during running this year on a promotion course.
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He added that there were no rules and regulations for conducting the running of those rescuers who joined the service 15 years back.
At that time of the start of basic training, they had to finish one mile in eight minutes. But after over a decade of service, the time is the same. He added that this is quite natural that the physical fitness level declines gradually with the process of ageing. A recruit in his early moths and a rescuer at the age of 38 or 40 cannot have the same level of fitness and stamina.
He continued that the wife of Zahoor Ahmad had demanded an inquiry into the death of her husband.
The academy has no minimum standards to check the physical fitness and mental or general health status to check for the rescuers to start any refresher course, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2021.