Chief Minister N. Rangasamy inaugurated the ninth fire station in Puducherry on Monday. The full-fledged station at the industrial estate in Sedarpet would serve the rural areas. Around 18 personnel, including 12 firemen, two firemen drivers and a station officer have been posted in the station, which now has its own fire van, according to K. Ilango, divisional fire officer. In the past, the station was not fully equipped and was short of manpower. The nearest station was at Thirukanur.

A need was felt for a full-fledged sation due to the presence of industries and a number of huts in this area. Most of the firemen at Sedarpet station have been newly recruited from the latest batch that underwent a year’s training. A total of 29 new firemen have been recruited for various fire stations in Puducherry. But even after recruitment, there are an estimated 48 vacancies. The department has received sanction to use the services of 34 paramilitary personnel to fill in the gap, till the next batch is recruited, said sources.

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