|Lạc Dương Volunteer Fire Rescue Squad during a flood rescue mission. — Photo suckhoedoisong.vn|
ĐÀ LẠT — Whenever emergencies arise, Lạc Dương Town's Volunteer Fire Rescue Squad is ready to spring into action.
Established in August 2018 with 44 members, the group comprises youth union members, street protection committee, veterans, and members of Lang Biang off-road motorcycle and automobile club.
Since they launched, members of the team have stopped many large fires in Lạc Dương Town, Đà Lạt City (Lâm Đồng Province). Members of the team have also saved many victims who were swept away by flood water.
"We started with 40 people and by 2022, the team now has 76 members. All members are active, ready to fight on all fronts when there is an incident.", said Đặng Ngọc Hiệp, Captain of Lạc Dương Town Volunteer Fire Rescue Squad.
"The team currently has 30 off-road cars from all-terrain car enthusiasts. Thanks to that, it is possible to support each other to rush into narrow, steep road areas that other vehicles cannot enter to promptly get to the scene of accidents, especially traffic accidents or accidents from adventure travel.
"Most notably, we have saved two foreign tourists lost in the forest at night in Lạc Dương thanks to the help of these off-road cars.
"After helping, our team never took any fees. Our actions left a good impression on domestic and foreign tourists, especially in Lang Biang, Đà Lạt."
In addition to off-road vehicles, there are dozens of specialised vehicles for fire protection, three large-capacity water engines, three motorised pontoon boats, seven fire pumps and two generators.
Costs of this equipment are paid by contributions from members.
The fire prevention and fighting team and the self-governing police force in Lạc Dương Town operate according to a model called 442. The first "4", according to Hiệp, are voluntary participation, self-build, self-investing and self-managing. The second "4" is the on-site command; on-site personnel; on-site vehicles and on-site learning. The "2" means not being afraid of danger and no remuneration or benefits.
According to Hiệp, since the group's establishment, the team has actively coordinated and participated in five fire fighting cases, extinguished nine fires at power poles late at night during storms and rescued people from three vehicle fires.
A memorable experience for the squad was the successful rescue of two tourists trapped in the flood that happened at the end of November 2020.
At that time, a group of tourists from HCM City went on a tour to explore Bidoup-Núi Bà National Park, Lạc Dương district. When crossing a stream in K'long K'lanh village, Đạ Chais commune, four people in the group were swept away by flood water.
Hiệp said: "Receiving information from the people, I immediately telegraphed to the leaders of Lạc Dương district. At the same time, the team mobilised three motorised lifeboats quickly to the scene.
"We found two tourists clinging to a tree branch in the middle of the flood, we and our brothers used a canoe to get there and managed to successfully rescue both victims.
"In the face of danger, we may have to pay with our lives. However, the members of the squad always encourage each other to complete their tasks well and rush to the most dangerous place to save people in grave situations." — VNS