Mumbai's firefighters: Risking life and limb to save people, properties and pets

Firefighters in Navi Mumbai responded to 1,780 calls for help in 2019; highest incidents of fire reported in Vashi

Last year, of the 1,780 calls made to fire stations, 611 reported fire incidents under the jurisdiction of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), which includes nodes from Ghansoli to CBD Belapur. The highest incidents of fire, which stood at 237, were dealt by the Vashi fire station.

‘A social service’

Amrutanand Borade, an officer at Nerul fire station, said, “Fire officers basically do social service. Apart from dousing fires, we rescue living beings, be it a human, animal or bird. Even when a snake is spotted, we are called in. When a child gets stuck in a room or locks in a parent, we come to their rescue.”

In cases of suicide, if a latch has to be broken, fire officers are contacted. After road accidents, when people are stuck inside mangled vehicles or an oil tanker leaks, calls are made to the fire station. “In drowning cases, whether the person is alive or dead, we have to retrieve the body. Any incident that requires saving life or property, we can be called in. We do not take any call lightly and do our best to reach the spot quickly,” Mr. Borade said.

During the monsoon, when trees fall and block roads, fire officers are called to remove barriers. Every housing society is expected to renew its no objection certificate (NOC) twice a year, while hospitals, hotels, pubs have to renew it once a year.

“A contractor with government license is hired by housing societies to apply for the renewal and maintain the fire equipment. We regularly send notices to societies that flout rules and fail to renew their NOC,” said another fire officer.

NMMC has fire stations at Airoli, Vashi, Nerul, Koparkhairane and Belapur and two more have been proposed. The civic body has one a 68-metre-long Bronto skylift to douse fire in high-rises and a proposal to purchase another one has been tabled.

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2020 11:11:06 PM |

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