Delhi Fire Service hires 500 personnel on contract

Senior officers from the department said all the 500 personnel are trained and match the DFS’s standards of training in firefighting. The 500 were selected through a stringent process, they said.
Former chief of Delhi Fire Service, AK Sharma, who led the department for six years between 2010 and 2016, said it is a good way to fill in for pending vacancies.(Sanchit Khanna/HT file photo)
Former chief of Delhi Fire Service, AK Sharma, who led the department for six years between 2010 and 2016, said it is a good way to fill in for pending vacancies.(Sanchit Khanna/HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 10, 2020 01:43 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAnvit Srivastava

For the first time, Delhi Fire Service (DFS) is hiring private firefighters on contract to make up for the lack of manpower. On Monday, 500 professionals from a private firm, trained in firefighting and carrying out rescue operations, will join the DFS, top officials said.

Senior officers from the department said all the 500 personnel are trained and match the DFS’s standards of training in firefighting. The 500 were selected through a stringent process, they said.

Atul Garg, director, Delhi Fire Service, said a firefighter should be able to bravely, and at the same time efficiently react to a situation when lives are at stake. “Even though these new cadets have been hired after a detailed process to check their proficiency in firefighting, they will be under continuous supervision of senior officers,” Garg said.

Garg said this is the first time that DFS is hiring private firefighters. “It is a temporary arrangement. Despite recruiting around 600 men last year, we were still short of 706 firefighters. With these 500 men, we will be able to fill more than 80% of our vacancies.The process of recruitment is also underway. Because it is a long process, these contractual employees will fill in till the time the government’s recruitment is completed,” he said.

“These men will play role of support staff for us. While our regular firefighters have a 24-hour shift, the contractual staff will have only eight-hour shift. We will provide them with all the safety gear, uniforms and other equipment when they’re at work. They will also assist our staff in maintenance of equipment and conducting awareness programmes,” Garg said.

He said the contractual firefighters have been taken from the private firm, Digitek, via GEM (government e-market place) - a central government owned e-portal where common user goods and services can be procured. The DFS will pay the Digitek which will pay salary to its staff, he added.

Former chief of Delhi Fire Service, AK Sharma, who led the department for six years between 2010 and 2016, said it is a good way to fill in for pending vacancies.

“Since these professionals are already trained the training part is also done away with which saves DFS’s time and resources. DFS requires skilled professionals which have not been provided for long time. If the manpower requirement is being met using other avenues there’s no harm in this,” Sharma said.

Officials at the Digitek did not respond to repeated calls and messages.

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Friday, January 21, 2022