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The number of fire stations in Pune is only 13, but should be at least 30, says chief fire officer

We do have big plans for the Pune fire department, but currently we have a number of hurdles in the way. One of that is finding plots. Meetings to find plots of land are underway, and accordingly we will take things ahead, said Pune chief fire officer Prashant Ranpise.

pune Updated: Oct 22, 2017 23:50 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,chief,fire
Chief fire officer of PMC Prashant Ranpise speaks at a seminar on ‘My Society Safe Society‘ at the Boat Club, Pune on Sunday.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

With Mumbai about to install 15 new mini fire stations, with 20 new bikes, in order to reduce response time for fire incidents, Ananya Barua speaks with chief fire officer Prashant Ranpise on the current status of Pune fire department and their plans to expand.

Does Pune have plans similar to Mumbai fire department, to buffer their infrastructure?

We do have big plans for the Pune fire department, but currently we have a number of hurdles in the way. One of that is finding plots. Meetings to find plots of land are underway, and accordingly we will take things ahead.

During Diwali, what has been your observation on fire incidents?

Fortunately, fire incidents have been going down. This year, we have seen a further dip in the number of calls we got on Laxmi puja day. While it was 17 calls last year, this year it has come down to 13 calls. The next day, it had been seven calls, and none of them were major incidents. This sheds a light onto the fact that attempts to spread awareness by various organisations and by this department has borne the fruits.

What is the current infrastructure as opposed to the ideal?

Currently, we have manpower of 490 trained people and 13 fire stations across the city with 73 vehicles. But, for a city with over three million population, that is not enough. Ideally, Pune should have 30 fire stations with over 100 functional vehicles and manpower of 1,500 trained professionals.

What is the hindrance being faced in daily operations by the department?

Our hindrance is not at all in response time. We have strained to keep it on point, but it is the issue of traffic and road congestion which often delays help from our side. Due to traffic issues during such crisis situations, it becomes very problematic for the fire department professionals to reach on time and contain the fire. We are now working really hard to bridge this gap and are in talks with the traffic department and Pune Municipal Corporation to find solutions.

In accordance with Smart City Project, what are the advancements in this department?

As mentioned, we want to, first of all, reach our goal of having 30 fire stations with 1,500 manpower. Following that, we have to solve the issue on traffic congestion. We have already begun talks with several agents. We are trying to work out a vehicle-tracking system and technology to help us with routing the fire vehicles.

First Published: Oct 22, 2017 23:24 IST