Port Blair, Nov. 16: The Member of Parliament, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has requested the Hon’ble Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to strengthen the Andaman & Nicobar Fire Service unit to tackle any major future Fire Accident in multiple fronts.

In a letter addressed to the Lt. Governor, he mentioned that on the day of Diwali, two major Fire accidents have been reported from Phoenix Bay and Dairy Farm areas of Port Blair city.

He said that both incidents resulted in the substantial loss of property, valued at several lakhs, adversely affecting numerous families.

Commending swift and efficient response of the Fire Service Unit, which prevented the further spread of the fire to nearby structures, he said that timely intervention of Fire Service undoubtedly averted a major catastrophe.

However, he said that the occurrence of two simultaneous fire accidents in Port Blair highlights the potential strain on our Fire Service Unit, particularly in the face of future challenges.

The Member of Parliament pointed out that the Andaman & Nicobar Fire Service plays a pivotal role not only in protecting lives from fire hazards but also in providing assistance during various disasters. Presently, we have 24 fire stations strategically located across the Islands, along with unit offices and workshops. Despite these efforts, the current workforce of approximately 638 personnel, spread across all ranks, faces a significant shortfall.

He said that only about 400 firemen are presently engaged in the Andaman & Nicobar Fire Service, indicating a noteworthy staffing deficit. This shortage is evident across various positions, posing challenges in delivering effective fire and disaster response services. He added that around 188 positions, which have remained unfilled, were reportedly abolished, further exacerbating the issue.

The Member of Parliament noted that this shortage of personnel has hampered the operational efficiency of our Fire Service, making it increasingly challenging for firefighters to manage and control fires and other emergencies effectively.

To address this critical issue, he urged the Lt. Governor to consider the reinstatement of the abolished positions and the recruitment of additional personnel to ensure the optimal functioning of our Fire Service Unit.

He added that in addition to human resources, it is crucial to equip our Fire Service Unit with modern technologies. “Adequate investment in vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art firefighting equipment will enhance our capacity to respond swiftly to all types of fire-related threats,” he added.