Fearless Firefighters


By Ashim Sunam

“Tring Tring” the phone rings at Dwarka Sector 11 fire station. It is Diwali night. The firefighters are alerted from their headquarters at Connaught place about the fire that broke out in Dwarka Sector 4. The firemen with their food half unfinished rush towards the spot in a Water Bouger (fire truck which carries water firemen and all the equipments). The firefighters return after a hard fought battle with fire. It’s their normal day routine.

Udai Vir Singh, the fire station officer at Dwarka sec 11 says, “When a fire breaks out, even the insects can’t bear it and they come out, but our brave firefighters fight against all odds to douse the fire”.

Udai vir Singh, the station officer in his office.

They face many other problems and threats too. The rooms are full of smoke which makes breathing difficult for them. “Though they have a breathing apparatus with them, they are not allowed to stay in a smoke filled room for more than 10minutes” says the station officer, Udai Singh.

Sanjay Paul (name changed) has been working as firemen for 7 years now. He feels proud “when someone pats on his back and says, job well done”. There have been instances when people have pelted stones at the truck. People feel they arrived late. He reacts by saying, “As soon as we receive a fire call, we leave the station within 20 seconds”. The traffic along with congested roads are major obstacles which hinder their progress.

Earlier there were separate post for drivers but now all firefighters must know how to drive. There are two types of vehicle in a fire station. They are called water tender and water bouger comprising of 4000 liters and 12000 liters of water tank capacity respectively. Once any of the vehicles is taken for duty then its tank has to be full when it returns back to the station. If not, the driver is suspended from work.

Udai singh takes his dinner early on Diwali night. He anticipates many calls during the night. He avoids sleep to serve the people and save lives. They only received 6-7 calls on Diwali night. There has been observed some decrease in fire accidents during diwali. Another firemen, says, “Crackers have become expensive so people buy it in less quantity which slightly reduces the chances of fire”.

Life of a fireman is always at risk. “A fire at Kirti Nagar market some years ago claimed lives of some firemen and several others were injured too, due the sudden collapse of a building”. Another senior officer Dharampal Bhardwaj was seriously injured in the accident. He received a gallantry award for his heroic act where he saved lives of many people.

These firefighters who work for 15 days in a month are involved in one of the most challenging job. They remain active day and night on their call of duty. It is really laudable the way they go about their job in the harshest condition without any fuss.

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~ by ashimsunam on November 9, 2010.

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