The Fire Brigade has been handling many hazardous situations on the basis of the figure of city population that was recorded 15 years ago (Approximately 22-25 lakhs). Now, the Orange City population has touched a staggering figure of 40-45 lakhs. However, the figure of Fire Brigade personnel has remained the stagnant at 285-odd despite huge increase in Nagpur population. In today’s situation, the Fire Brigade Department needs 500 personnel and 50 officers.
“You have to do something in your life that is honorable and not cowardly if you are to live in peace with yourself, and for the firefighter it is fire.”
The only mention of the Fire Brigade provides a great relief to citizens in the eventualities of any tragedy. The men of matter are meant for rescue and relief missions. And they have accomplished the missions hundreds of times from generation to generation.
However, in Nagpur city, the Fire Brigade is itself is in a grip of problems. The Fire Brigade has been carrying out dozens of rescue and relief missions by its own bravery and determination, albeit, with very few personnel in comparison with the population explosion. The Fire Brigade has been handling many hazardous situations on the basis of the figure of city population that was recorded 15 years ago (Approximately 22-25 lakhs). Now, the Orange City population has touched a staggering figure of 40-45 lakhs. However, the figure of Fire Brigade personnel has remaind the stagnant at 285-odd despite huge increase in Nagpur population. In today’s situation, the Fire Brigade Deaprtment needs 500 personnel and 50 officers.
The 285-odd Fire Brigade fighters have to carry out their duties of rescue and relief the entire year in general, and, in the rainy season in particular. They have to attend several calls on the tragedies of the small and big magnitudes. This aspect exposes the weaker side of the Fire Brigade thus becoming the uncalled for target of citizens, who leave no stone unturned to blame them for any delay for reaching the spot of tragedy. The citizens never give a thought the Fire Brigade personnel, too, face different kinds of odds while performing their duties.
The Fire Brigade personnel sometimes find themselves helpless following the population explosion. Although the Fire Brigade Centres, too, have been seen increased. But with the same number of personnel vis-à-vis the 15-year old formula. And the shortage of staff exposed the weaker side of the Fire Brigade when the city was battered and bruised by heavy to very heavy rainfall triggering dozens of dangerous situations like gushing of rain water into houses in the the low-lying areas, uprooting of many trees, flood-like situations in many parts of the city and the likes of many. The Fire Brigade personnel could not attend every call of trapped citizens thus receiving bombarding from the affected people.
There were a total of 5 Fire Brigade Centers 15 years ago with 285-odd personnel handling the hazardous situations. Now, number of the Fire Brigade centres has gone up to 8. Each Center has one water sucking pump, it means 8 pumps, the Civil Lines Headquarters has been equipped with 4 general pumps, two Honda pump. This is a joke. The rescue and relief missions are impossible in the Nagpur area of 217 kilometers. In today’s situation the Fire Brigade at least needs 50 or more powerful pumps.
The Maharshtra Government had sanctioned Rs 1 crore for arming the Fire Brigade with red-hot technology and equipments. The 60 per cent amount is reserved for purchasing wireless systems and other related gadgets. 25 per cent for purchasing of risk management tools and the remaining 15 per cent amount is reserved foradvertisements regarding averting of floods, electricity-related problems and other tragedies. However, the NMC has been running the “weak” and “handicapped” Fire Brigade for years together. “Unfortunatly, due to lack of will power and a vision, the Fire Brigade has become handicapped,” said the Fire Brigade Department Committee Chairman Kishor Dorle.