The fire department responded to 2,573 calls in Delhi in March as compared to over 1,600 in last year, officials said on Sunday.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Delhi recorded a mean maximum temperature of 33.1 degrees Celsius last month, making it the warmest March in the past 11 years.
According to a data shared by Delhi Fire Services (DFS), it received 1,851 calls in January, 1,700 in February. As many as 2,573 call were received in March as against 1,638 received last year.
DFS Director Atul Garg said the number of calls went up with an increase in temperature and the department was prepared to tackle any emergency.
"The calls have almost doubled since February. The number of calls have increased since first week of March," Garg said. "There has been an increase in the number of calls we receive now, especially since the last week of March."
The DFS is restricting the leave for its staff, ensuring that maximum personnel are on standby, overhauling all vehicles and equipment to making special arrangements to respond quickly to fires in agricultural fields, is it is gearing up for a busy summer.
The department received more than 80 calls daily on an average in the last 10 days of March and it crossed the 100 mark since March 28, according to data.
It showed that the DSF received 136 calls, highest of that month on March 29, the day Delhi reeled under a ''severe'' heat wave, as the maximum temperature shot up to 40.1 degrees Celsius, making it the hottest day in March in 76 years.
Among the several calls responded by the firefighters, one of those included the incident at Safdarjung Hospital on March 31 when a fire broke out in its ICU, following which 50 patients were evacuated and shifted to other wards safely by them with the help of the hospital staff.
In another incident, three members of a family trapped in a building fire in south Delhi's Greater Kailash were rescued by a team of firefighters along with Delhi Police personnel.
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