Hyderabad

Going through fire and water to rescue 30

Braveheart: Superintendent Dharamvir Singh is part of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting team of GMR Hyderabad International Ltd.

Braveheart: Superintendent Dharamvir Singh is part of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting team of GMR Hyderabad International Ltd.

In mid-June in the early hours, a seven-storied hotel at Madhuranagar at Shamshabad caught fire billowing out smoke and sending some 30-odd employees scurrying towards the rooftop. They could have got out through stairs braving the smoke, but with fire engulfing the top two floors, they took flight to the top floor in a state of panic.

The Telangana State Disaster Response & Fire Services Department (TSDRFSD) got a distress call and immediately dispatched a few vehicles. At about the same time, the Watch Tower of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) team of GMR Hyderabad International Ltd (GHIAL), received the call. After alerting the superiors and without wasting any time, Superintendent Dharamvir Singh took off with an airport fire fighting vehicle along with two crew members.

Anupuma Hotel was already covered in smoke when the team reached the site and noticed that the fire department personnel were battling the fire, but running out of water. Showing presence of mind, Mr. Singh connected his own vehicle’s water hoses to that of the department’s to control the fire.

He also noticed fire emanating from the medical shop on the ground floor and there was a danger of residential flats catching fine above. Quickly donning the personal protective equipment and self-controlled breathing apparatus, he put up ladders and clambered onto the second floor showing utmost bravery and risking his own life, he saved about 30 persons trapped on the terrace.

Mr. Singh’s bravery was recognised and he is the first civilian recipient of the TS Gallantry Award announced on New Year’s eve, which is usually given to uniformed personnel only. The TSDRFSD had recommended his name. Though civilians are not considered for the award, Mr. Singh got the recognition which entails a cash award of ₹10,000 and a monthly recurring grant of ₹150.

“We want to encourage such brave acts. Otherwise, no one will come to help our boys during such emergencies. This year, five of our men received the gallantry award, the highest ever,” said Rajiv Ratan, Director General of TSDRFSD.

“The recognition is a high point in my career as a fire officer and as a human being. I feel honoured and it’s a great boost for my team and colleagues in fire departments under the GMR Group,” gushed Mr. Singh.

“We are proud to have valiant officers like Daramvir Singh in our team. With rigorous training and teamwork during emergencies, our ARFF team is also giving training to other institutions,” said GHIAL CEO S.G.K. Kishore.


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 5:48:50 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/going-through-fire-and-water-to-rescue-30/article22432074.ece