Involve community for Fire Safety: DG fire services

Webinar on Fire Safety Measures in winter was jointly organised by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Institution of Engineers (India) J&K State Centre, Srinagar in collaboration with J&K Fire and Emergency Services, SDRF, Divisional Administration Kashmir and State Emergency Operation Centre.

The webinar was inaugurated by Dr. B. Srinivas, Director General, Fire & Emergency Services and Commandant General CD, HG and SDRF. He appreciated the initiative taken to generate public awareness about fires in winters and urged for greater community involvement for ensuring fire safety and focus on fire prevention. He said that F&ES, Civil Defence, Home Guards and SDRF are doing an exceptional work and implored people to join Civil Defence and learn fire-fighting and life-saving skills.

Speaking on the occasion Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K Pole said that in Kashmir most of the houses in Kashmir are made up of wood which is vulnerable to fire. He said it’s important to frame area specific solutions for all hazards including Fire because accessibility is an issue.

He appreciated Fire & Emergency Services for doing an excellent work but suggested that in far-flung areas it become a challenge due to the difficult terrain and the localities become vulnerable to fire. He issued instructions to Director Rural Development Kashmir to procure 2 to 3 multipurpose Fire extinguishers, for all Panchayats of Karnah, Keran, Machil, Gurez and Tulail blocks and also around 700 far-flung villages in hilly areas which have limited road access in winters. These Fire Extinguishers shall be procured by the Rural Development Department and placed at the disposal of the respective Panchayats. Volunteers shall be identified in each Panchayat and they will be imparted fire-fighting training, so that it strengthens the Community level Disaster Management teams and encourages them to be part of the Disaster management set-up.

Div Com directed that fire extinguishers shall immediately be procured by the Heads of Department and installed in all Government offices. He directed that Ghats on River Jhelum shall be identified by Joint Director Fire Services, where facility shall be made available for drawing water by mobile pumps, in case of any fire incident in the locality. He appreciated the organisers for holding this most important webinar.

The panelists included RC Sharma, Former Director Delhi Fire Service, Ravi Kumar Panditta Commandant 7th Bn, NDRF from Bathinda Punjab, and Bashir Ahmed Shah, Jt. Dir F&ES Kashmir. The opening remarks were given by Dr. Amir Ali Khan, Faculty NIDM, who said that care should be taken of the lifeline infrastructure including hospitals, in view of the fire vulnerability.

The programme was coordinated by Er. M. Auquib Sultana Waheed Deva, Honorary Secretary IEI JKSC who gave a brief introduction about the theme of the webinar and stated that to be proactive in the 21st century is very much important to be safe from any incident. The programme was conducted by MohmmedSuhailWani, Bilquees Dar and YogitaGarbyal. The programme was attended by over 200 participants including Council Members of IEI from various States, Corporate Members of JKSC students from SSM, NIT, University of Kashmir and other Colleges. Besides all Addl DCs, Head Quarter Tehsildars, Chief Medical Officers, other senior officers, Civil Defence Volunteers, and media also attended the webinar which was also live on YouTube and Facebook.

Chairman IEI, Aamir Ali said that J&K is vulnerable to multiple disasters. “But Fire is the most common disaster that we encounter in our daily lives particularly winter and unfortunately the basic cause of fire is usually human error, accident or negligence,”.