Siliguri, Dec 22 Siliguri Journal) – Three dedicated volunteers from the Teesta Rangeet Rescue Centre (TRRC) in Kalimpong recently attended a three-day training program in Nepal. The goal was to enhance their abilities in efficiently rescuing people from rivers during accidents and natural disasters. This valuable initiative received support from the district police, contributing to the community’s safety efforts.
“In north Bengal, we do not have the facility of such training programmes. That is why three of our volunteers went to Nepal where the training session was carried out in the Marsyangdi river by Bishnu Gurung, an international expert in swiftwater rescue and response,” explained Shanti Rai, the president of TRRC, active in the region since 2019.
The International Technical Rescue Association (ITRA), a nonprofit specializing in training rescue practitioners and instructors, facilitated this valuable training session.
Situated in Pennsylvania, the International Technical Rescue Association (ITRA) provides training across diverse rescue disciplines such as swift water, rope, tactical, boat, confined space, structural collapse, ice, and animal rescue, according to sources.
TRRC volunteers Sajan Dukpa, Sagar Basor, and Sangdup Sherpa underwent training in Nepal. Shanti Rai mentioned, “They were taught techniques related to rescuing people from rivers, using various boats and equipment, planning and conducting rescue operations.”
In Kalimpong, rescuers have consistently saved lives when vessels or rafts have faced mishaps in the Teesta. A resident from the affected hill district stressed the need for more trained volunteers to ensure prompt rescues during incidents and natural disasters, ultimately reducing casualties. This call for additional training comes after a portion of the district was severely impacted by the October 4 flash flood in the Teesta.
The swiftwater rescue and response course, globally sought-after by lifeguards, comprises several modules teaching rescuers how to navigate fast-flowing rivers like the Teesta, according to a reliable source.
Representatives from TRRC expressed gratitude for the support of the Kalimpong district police, particularly Superintendent of Police Aparajita Rai.
“We could send the volunteers only because the SP supported us. For each volunteer, we had to spend Rs 58,000 only to buy equipment. Plus, there were other costs,” shared a source from TRRC.
Looking ahead, the Kalimpong-based rescue center plans to send six women volunteers for similar training.
When asked about the district police’s contribution, Rai stated, “We have only sponsored the training. All the other initiatives have been taken by the TRRC. It is good that volunteers have successfully finished the training.”