Special Correspondent

Eight women inducted for a 4-month preliminary programme

TAMBARAM: For the first time in the country, eight women were inducted for a four-month preliminary training programme as Station Fire Officers.

The programme is being held at the State Training Centre of Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services in Tambaram Sanatorium.

Tamil Nadu had the distinction of having selected two women – V.Meenakshi and R.Priya - as the first-ever Divisional Fire Officers in 2003. The State has now followed it up by selecting eight women among the 22 new recruits, who would be spending the next four months at the training centre as part of their 10-month long training programme for Station Fire Officers.

R. Natraj, Director, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, inaugurating the training programme on Wednesday morning, said the women would be trained on a par with their male colleagues. The trainee SFOs would also undergo training with the Special Task Force in Sathyamangalam and National Security Guards.

The eight women selected are P.Thilagavathi, C.P.Revathi, R.Gomathi, N.Nattar Anandhi, J.Jeyarani, S.Kavitha, N.Gomathi Amudhan and R.Jamuna Rani. Their selection proved that yet another male bastion had fallen. Four among them are married and have children. Conceding that they would be missing their families, especially their children, the women were confident that they would complete the training programme without any difficulty. The selection process included a written examination, physical fitness and personal interview. The basic qualification was a pass in standard X and the eight women were selected among nearly 50 aspirants.

Addressing the function, Mr.Natraj said an elite commando team comprising well built and strong willed firemen would be formed in every district headquarters. He said such a team from the Vellore headquarters’ fire station had embarked on a rescue mission in Ambur, where flash floods had left 200 people stranded.

All of them were rescued by the commando unit on Wednesday morning.

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