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'Role of fire services has dramatically changed': Ramachandran

Thiruvananthapuram , Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 23 (ANI): Highlighting the issue of increasing industrialisation and technological advancements making the country far more vulnerable to big fire incidences, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, M. Ramachandran, today indicated that the role of fire services has dramatically changed and now fire services respond to all emergent situations such as terrorist attacks, hazardous material incidents, advanced emergency medical situations, urban search and rescue and much more in addition to their conventional role to fire fighting and rescue.


Ramachandran, who inaugurated a National level Consultation on Fire Services-cum-Second Meeting of the High Level Empowered Committee for the scheme of strengthening of Fire and Emergency Services here today, in his inaugural address said: "Government of India is particularly concerned about the increasing loss of life and any property due to fire and related accidents."


A. E. Ahmad, Secretary (Border Management) MHA, K. Jayakumar, Addl. Chief Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of Kerala, R.K. Srivastava, Joint Secretary (Disaster Management), Mukul Goyal, IG (NDRF andCivil Defence), S.Pulikeshi, DGP, Commandant General, Kerala Fire Services, Dr. J.Radhakrishnan, Assistant Country Director, UNDP and Senior Government officials of various States/UTs attended the workshop.


Ahmad in his keynote address focused on need of systematic and comprehensive institutional setup for fire services in the country.


He stated that recent hospital fire tragedy in Kolkata has given us warning call to take effective and better preparedness measures on priority basis.


He further emphasized that there is a dire need to legislate on fire safety measure empower the district and state level fire services for not only carrying out search and rescue operations immediately after a disaster but also for fire prevention and making them self relevant on resource generation for fire-fighting equipments.


Ahmad informed that for the first time, 'Fire Hazard and Risk Analysis' for all the States/UTs is being conducted in the country, which will identify the gaps in existing fire services and evolving strategies for bridging the gap of fire in the area preparedness across the country.


He exhorted the states to use funds made available under the 13th Finance Commission for modernisation of their fire services.


The deliberations during the meeting focused on finding solutions for various challenges faced by states in developing fire services as multi-hazard disaster response units. (ANI)


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