Kathmandu FD

Nepal’s Bravest

Kathmandu Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal’s Capital, Kathmandu, is nestled in a broad valley at about 4,000 ft above sea level.  As it is about the same latitude as Key West, Florida, and despite it’s proximity to the world’s tallest mountains, it is surprisingly warm.

The Valley is roughly 220 square miles with about 1,000,000 residents.  Most live in apartments that are sometimes crowded onto very narrow  streets where access of any kind is quite difficult.

Traffic in the city is horrible and is compounded by the fact that many side streets are unpaved mud paths.  Getting around is very difficult.

Center City Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sprawling valley is comprised of three main centers: Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.  Each has but a single fire station, meaning three for about 1,000,000 people.

Fire protection is obviously on the back Burner, (no pun intended) since the response times and lack of staffing are so great as to render a quick attack impossible.

Firefighter on Duty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathmandu’s fire station is in the “New Road” area not far from the historic Durbar Square.  The equipment bays face the street and an enclosed and gated courtyard.  The rigs exit through the courtyard for security.  In fact, guards with automatic weapons are on patrol on the grounds.  Some will know that Nepal has struggled with a Maoist insurgency and political instability.  Terrorist attacks targeting the police and the military, especially in the countryside, were once common.

SCBA Bottles and Compressor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Much of the apparatus and equipment comes from Europe, often as a donation.  Kathmandu is like much of the rest of the world, including many parts of the US where fire protection is either an after-thought or entirely ignored.  Police protection takes pride-of-place over fire safety and protection.  Perhaps because of the extreme shortage of resources,  nuisance fires are allowed to burn in streets and vacant lots where they add to the pollution and can easily spread to structures.

Fire protection plays “Second Fiddle” the world over.

1 Comment

  • Chris says:

    I was just in Nepal on a mission trip in October 2012. I never saw a fire truck. I saw a few ambulances and many police vehicles. One evening, in central Nepal, we were stuck in traffic at a fatal motorcycle vs microbus accident. The entire road (a main thoroughfare for the area) was shut down for several hours. It was shut down not for an investigation, but shut down until the bus owner and the family of the deceased motorcycle rider reached a financial settlement to be paid immediately.

    The victim had already been removed but the vehicles were still in the road. Through our translator, we were told that nothing could be moved because it might affect the settlement. We definitely were not in the US where police try to get traffic flowing as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
Comments
Bob Gray
Ebola: The Real Lesson
Good advice, Eric...well taken.
2014-10-29 19:06:27
Eric Lamar
Ebola: The Real Lesson
WOW. Quite a story, Cortez. Thanks for sharing. Eric
2014-10-29 14:39:21
Cortez Lawrence
Ebola: The Real Lesson
Eric: You certainly have it right. My back surgery three and a half years ago left me unable to walk because of a hospital contracted infection that caused a spinal abcess and required a followed on surgery and an additional week in the hospital and 3 months of PIC line and high explosive antibiotics! I…
2014-10-29 14:28:11
Eric Lamar
Ebola: The Real Lesson
G- Thank you for sharing your experience. Eric
2014-10-28 17:52:17
Glenn
Ebola: The Real Lesson
Good stuff Eric. Our daughter while receiving chemo treatments was infected with staph when the port the hospital personnel inserted became infected. She became extremely ill. She was of course already weakened by the chemo. It cost us over $18,000 for interventions antibiotics, later reimbursed by the hospital after I complained all the way up…
2014-10-27 19:51:00
Taking It With You
Taking It With You
Night at the Movies
Night at the Movies
A REAL Emergency!
A REAL Emergency!
What is Experience?
What is Experience?
Streets: Nine and a Half D
Streets: Nine and a Half D

IAFFLogo
December 2012
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST FIREFIGHTER NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS

LATEST ON FIRE ENGINEERING

FEATURED DISCUSSIONS