Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Delhi Metro gears staff for medical emergencies

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is training its employees to be able to react fast when faced with any medical emergency.

The company has already imparted first-aid training to nearly 5,000 of them, and now with the Commonwealth Games round the corner it wants the bulk of its workforce to be equipped with the basics of life-saving.

“In the past there have been instances where our employees have rushed people to hospitals and helped save lives. We have a comprehensive system wherein emergency alarms inside the coaches can be pressed and the train operators and the station staff can be contacted for help. The train and station staff are familiar with the procedures to follow when handling unwell passengers,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.

While a majority of the complaints are related to passengers not feeling well, about 25 calls are made to CATS for more serious cases each month. “All new recruits in DMRC posted at metro stations (both technical and non-technical staff) are given first-aid training by a team of doctors from St. John's Ambulance Brigade. There is a week-long training module for first-aid, which is provided at Delhi Metro's Shastri Park Training Institute,” said the spokesperson.

First-aid training

The first-aid training covers all aspects including the structure and function of the human body, procedures like dressing and bandaging wounds, issues related to circulation of blood, bleeding wounds, haemorrhages, shocks, asphyxia, injuries to bones and burns and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

A detailed process

“It is a detailed process where we equip the employees with all necessary aid inputs to help people. The staff has to be ready to deal with exigencies arising out of situations like a fire or a terror attack that can leave people injured,” the spokesperson added.

All metro stations are provided with first-aid boxes and any emergency case brought to the notice of station staff is immediately attended to.

“For those who want further medical attention, the station staff call CATS which takes them to the nearest hospital. The DMRC staff also accompanies the passenger. In most cases, the response time is less then 10 minutes in sending the patient to nearest hospital,” said the spokesperson.

Amir Khan’s brother changes allegiance for Commonwealth Games

The teenage brother of Amir Khan is set to box for Pakistan at the Commonwealth Games this year, but says he would not box for any country other than Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Haroon Khan was a 14-year-old waving the Union Jack in the crowd when Amir boxed his way to a lightweight silver medal at the Athens Games in 2004. But the 19-year-old bantamweight has given up hope of following his older brother by boxing for Britain at an Olympic Games.

Amir, who defends his WBA light-welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi here on Saturday, rejected approaches from Pakistan and the United States before he became the only British boxer to qualify for the 2004 Games.

Despite making his senior England debut last year, Haroon has not been selected for the Britain podium squad or the development squad. So he has accepted an approach by Pakistan, where his parents were born, to represent them at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.

“I really wanted to box for Britain at the Olympics ever since Amir won silver in Athens,” Haroon, a junior ABA champion, said. “I looked at what he did and dreamed of going one better. But I’ve never had a look-in with the senior England squad, not even a letter.

“What used to happen was they would call me up a week before an international and ask if I could box, but I knew it was only because someone had pulled out and they never really wanted me. I’ve spoken to a lot of English boxers and they said if they were me, they would go for it.

“When I went over to Pakistan, they were offering me a house and a car and a driver, if I wanted to stay there. But whatever happens, I couldn’t see myself fighting for Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics in London. That just wouldn’t feel right. If all goes well, I will turn pro after the Commonwealth Games.”

MoD can’t spare choppers, baton relay likely to be hit

In a snub for the Commonwealth Games Committee, the Defence Ministry has turned down a request for military helicopters to transport games officials to different states as part of the Queen’s Baton relay that will precede the games. While the games committee had wanted the Armed Forces to foot the bill for airlifting officials for the relay after the baton enters India in June, the Defence Ministry has made it clear that in view of operational requirements, it would not be feasible to spare military aircraft.

While commercial aircraft are likely to be hired to transport officials with the baton, the duration and scope of the relay could to be shortened, given the high costs involved in chartering aircraft. The decision was taken during a meeting of the committee of secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary last month.

The committee will now draw up a movement plan for the baton relay and the Defence Ministry will only step in if a “genuine problem arises in working out the movement plan in difficult areas”. In effect, this means that only limited flights on regular “courier routes” of the Air Force will be made available for the relay. Experts are surprised that the games committee did not sketch out an alternative plan from the beginning and assumed that defence aircraft would be made available for the relay.

Differences have also risen between the Games Committee and the Defence Ministry over the deployment of Armed Forces personnel for various tasks related to the Games, including the opening and closing ceremonies. As reported by this newspaper, the committee had projected a requirement of nearly 4,000 defence personnel to manage things from logistics and movement to the music bands and fly past at the opening and closing ceremonies.

The committee of secretaries has also lashed out at the Games Committee for specifying the number of officers required as well as their designations in their request for additional personnel to the Defence Ministry. The committee has now been directed to send in details of the tasks required to be performed so that the Defence Ministry can depute personnel accordingly. It may be recalled that an earlier proposal, detailing the ‘need’ for close to 300 officers, including 245 Lieutenant Colonels had not gone down well with the ministry.

However, with just five months to go for the Games, there is still no clarity on the exact number of personnel to be deployed for the games or the tasks to be assigned to them, leaving the Defence Ministry uncomfortable.

Number of defence personnel required by Games Committee

Officers required to manage many aspects of the mega event

Lt Colonels needed by panel, a request Army has frowned upon

Amir Kahn's brother Haroon intends to box for Pakistan at Commonwealth Games

Haroon Khan, 19, the younger brother of World Boxing Association light-welterweight champion and former GB Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan, intends to box for Pakistan at the Commonwealth Games in October, having been rejected by British selectors.

The family, whose sons were born and raised in Bolton, claim that Haroon, a Junior Amateur Boxing Association champion last year, has been frozen out by the British Amateur Boxing Association, in spite of having earned his England vest as a junior.

Ironically, Amir Khan faced a similar situation in 2004, when boxing officials said he was too young, at 17, to go to the Olympic Games in Athens. Khan had won the world junior lightweight title in South Korea early in 2004, and the family threatened to offer his services to the Pakistan Olympic squad.

Khan was later selected for Great Britain, coming home with a silver medal and reaching the lightweight final against double-gold medallist Mario Kindelan of Cuba.

Shah Khan, father of the boxing brothers from Bolton, explained: "We've been over to Pakistan to their training camp, and Haroon has sparred with their guys, one at 56kg and one at 52kg. Their Cuban coach was very keen on getting him into the squad.

"Haroon would prefer to fight for England and his dream was to fight for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics. But if he can't get a look in with England, what else can he do? There's the podium squad and then the development squad just below it and he's not even getting a look-in for the development squad.”

Khan Snr added: "Mick Jelley, Amir’s coach when he went to the Olympics, is 100 per cent behind what we are doing. We asked his advice, and he said if Team GB won't give him a chance, then he's lucky he's got the option of fighting for Pakistan."

Khan's plan is to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October and the join the professional ranks. "I really wanted to box for Britain at the Olympics ever since Amir won silver in Athens. I looked at what he did and dreamt of going one better,” explained the 19-year-old who is in New York for his brother’s US debut against Brooklynite Paulie Malignaggi.

"But I've never had a look-in with the senior England squad, not even a letter. What used to happen was they would call me up a week before an international fixture and ask if I was available to box, but I knew it was only because someone had pulled out."

Khan earned junior vests for England. He added: "Whatever happens, I couldn't see myself fighting for Pakistan at the 2012 Olympics in London. That just wouldn't feel right. If all goes well, I will turn pro after the Commonwealth Games."

Haroon fights at 52kg, won the 2009 Junior ABA title, and has fought 76 amateur bouts, with 61 wins and 15 defeats.

NGO alleges MCD capturing stray dogs cruelly; writes to Lt Guv

Alleging that Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) was capturing stray dogs cruelly before the upcoming Commonwealth Games, NGO Youth For Justice today urged Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna to take action against such a 'barbaric act'.

In a letter to Lt Governor, the NGO has written that the MCD was planning to remove stray dogs from their natural surroundings, adding that the municipal body capture stray animals in the cruelest manner. ''These dogs eventually die horrible deaths as they do not know how to fend for themselves in unfamiliar surroundings,'' a member of the NGO said.

The organisation claimed that Animal Birth Control (ABC) rules allowed stray dogs to be removed only for sterilisation and vaccination and directed that the dogs be returned where they were picked up from.

Stressing that media reports brought to light killing of 11 dogs in Lajpat Nagar area, the NGO has urged the Lt Governor to order immediate probe into the incident and asked the MCD to stop any further plans of removing these animals in the name of the Games.

It has also demanded effective action against illegal slaughtering houses and strict implementation of livestock transport rules.

Commonwealth Games to provide security blueprint for 2011 cricket World Cup

Organizers of the 2011 cricket World Cup will draw their security plans based on this year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

''The Commonwealth Games will be the benchmark for us about security arrangements,'' World Cup director Ratnakar Shetty told the Press Trust of India on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Oct. 3-14, will be the biggest multiple sport event in India since the 1982 Asian Games.

The cricket World Cup is to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh during February and March.

''Security is an important aspect for organizing any event in the Asian subcontinent,'' Shetty said. ''People have doubts ... because of events that have taken place in this part of the world.''

Shetty said cricket organizers in all three host nations had the support of their respective federal governments, which was considered vital for staging international events.

The three co-hosting cricket boards had already appointed their own national security managers, he said.

Shetty said it was mandatory for the three cricket boards to appoint their own security managers.

He said the security manager for each country would coordinate all arrangements, execute security plans and liaise with the government.

CWG projects will be completed on time: Dikshit

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday said that all Commonwealth Games related projects will be completed well before the event starts here Oct 3.

“All the projects will be completed well before …(time),” she said at a function here.

Diskhit appealed to the people of Delhi to contribute to the event’s success. Her remarks followed concerns that several Games projects are running behind schedule.

Security drill at National Stadium in Delhi

A bomb blast drill was conducted at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Wednesday by various security agencies involved with the preparation for the Commonwealth Games, police said.

"The agencies involved with the Commonwealth Games today (Wednesday) carried out a mock bomb blast drill in the stadium," a police official said.

The agencies included Delhi Police and the Delhi Fire Service.

A similar exercise was carried out last week at the same stadium which will host hockey games during of the Commonwealth Games that will be held Oct 3-14.

NI picks first batch of athletes for Commonwealth Games

Cyclists David McCann and Michael Hutchinson are selected as are swimmers Claire Dawson and Sycerika McMahon.

Women bowlers Jennifer Dowds, Sandra Bailie, Mandy Cunningham, Barbara Logue and Donna McCloy are all chosen.

Mark Montgomery will be in action in wrestling eight years after competing in Judo at the Manchester Games.

Olympic silver medallist Houvenaghel will be Northern Ireland's first female track cycling competitor in the Commonwealth games, which will take place in Delhi from 3-14 October.

Perry was the first nomination put forward for selection for the Northern Ireland team.

The Banbridge squash player will be taking part in her fourth Games although she will not be playing mixed doubles in India.

Perry has reached the British Open final and World Open semi-finals over the past 18 months and is firmly established in the world's top 10.

The women bowlers will make challenges in the pairs and a triples.

Donna McCloy will be hoping that her husband Gary earns selection when the men's bowls squad is announced later in the summer.

Houvenaghel won silver in the pursuit at the Beijing Olympics and took gold in the team events at the 2008 and 2009 World Championships.

McCann and Hutchinson finished fourth and fifth in the individual time trial in Melbourne 2006.

West Belfast man McCann has been in tremendous form on the Asian circuit in recent weeks by earning wins in the Tour of Philippines and the Tour of Taiwan and may also aim for the individual road race.

Swimmers Dawson from the Ards club and Belfast teenager McMahon achieved qualifying times in Dublin recently.

Montgomery earned a fifth-place finish in judo at the 2002 Games.

The Aghalee says he will be aiming high again, only 18 months after taking advantage of Sport NI's Talent Transfer Initiative and swapping his belt for wrestling garb.

"My target is to finish in the top eight," said Montgomery.

"In these championships each country can enter two wrestlers per weight which means, whereas there is only one each in the Games so it has the potential to be twice as difficult."


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