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HindustanTimes Mon,24 Nov 2014

Busy night for firefighters in Delhi

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 12, 2012
First Published: 23:49 IST(12/11/2012) | Last Updated: 23:51 IST(12/11/2012)

Diwali might spell a pleasant midweek holiday for most people in the city, but for the 1,000 firefighters of Delhi it is a work day, and a particularly busy one at that.

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The firefighting squad entrusted with the task of ensuring a safe Diwali will be deployed at various strategic locations.

"Our firefighters will use bikes to ensure they reach crowded areas on time in case of an emergency," said a senior official.

According to the officials, the burden of work increases significantly during Diwali with fire calls going up from an average of 30 to 200 per day.

What is more, because of the acute staff crunch - Delhi Fire Services needs another 1,200 fire fighters - leaves of all fire personnel have been cancelled.

"In the past four years, we have managed to recruit only 250 people. A job that needs five people cannot be done by two. But, we have tried our best to be prepared to tackle all kinds of emergencies on Diwali," said AK Sharma, director, Delhi Fire Services.

"We are even facing shortage of drivers and fire operators," he added.

Lately, because of the staff shortage, Delhi's firefighters have been working long hours, ranging from one to three days.


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