BHUBANESWAR: As many as 45 new fire stations will be set up across the State by the end of this year, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said here on Tuesday.
Addressing the 61st National Fire Services Day, Naveen said the State will have the highest number of fire stations in the country once the proposed ones are completed. Currently, there are 290 fire stations in Odisha and the number will increase to 335 by the year end.
“The Odisha Fire Service is an indispensable public service. I am sure this organisation will provide prompt and effective service in all types of emergency situations,” Naveen said at the function held on the premises of Odisha Fire and Disaster Response Academy at Baramunda here.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister dedicated three fire training institutes - Odisha Fire and Disaster Response Academy (OFDRA) in Bhubaneswar, Fire Training Institute at Naraj in Cuttack and Watermanship Institute at Ramchandi in Puri and said the State Government will provide necessary staff for smooth functioning of these institutes and rendering top quality training.
The department, renamed as Fire and Emergency Services, has been the maiden responder in calamities of different kinds. This is evident from the rescue operations during Gailo ghat bus mishap in Deogarh where Fire Services personnel were the first to reach the accident spot, the Chief Minister said.
Naveen stressed on adequate protection and safety measures in all high-rise apartments in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and other cities to prevent fire through regular inspection and effective coordination between respective development authorities and the Fire Service department.
Speaking on the occasion, DG, Fire and Emergency Services Binoy Behera said currently, the department has 20 scuba diving equipment and subsequently, every district will have these units for rescue operations. “In drowning cases, the fire personnel can remain underwater for up to 30 minutes with the scuba diving set,” he said.
The OFDRA will be upgraded with latest rescue and disaster management equipment to impart best training to new inductees. An officer of the rank of Chief Fire Officer (CFO) will head the academy, Behera said. He lauded the efforts of fire personnel involved in rescue of Deogarh bus accident victims.
Among others Principal Secretary, Home Department Asit Tripathy, Inspector General, Fire and Emergency Services Dr Santosh Bala were present.