City to get 15 firewomen soon

 The next time there is a fire in the city, don’t be surprised if you see a firewoman springing into action with a hose and a nozzle trying to save lives.

Published: 16th November 2018 10:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2018 09:53 AM   |  A+A-

Illus: Express/Over 100 women will be deployed across Kerala

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The next time there is a fire in the city, don’t be surprised if you see a firewoman springing into action with a hose and a nozzle trying to save lives. In a laudable move, the Fire and Rescue Services will be deploying 15 women in the city, a first for the department which has so far had only an all-man crew. Of the 100 women who will be deployed across Kerala, 15 posts have been allotted for Ernakulam alone. 

According to Ernakulam District Fire Officer Joji, the women will be selected through Kerala Public Service Commission. “The procedures have already begun. There are certain mandates which include height and mental capability and basic firefighting and swimming skills. Once the procedures are completed, the women will be appointed in our force in six months where they will be given further training on how to handle the fire equipment, build their confidence skills and how to manage crisis situations,” said Joji. 

The officials with the department have welcomed the move. “This should have been implemented several years ago. We would probably be the only department in Kerala which did not reserve any important posts for women. The firemen or women are the faces of the Fire and Rescue Department. Women need to be given a chance to show their skills,” said Unnikrishnan, another official.

Joji feels that women will definitely prove to be very good in the field. “They can multi-task which is a very beneficial skill in our force. Also, only women who are extremely dedicated and skilful will take up the job. This will give them an extra edge over men,” he said. 

However, some are unhappy with the move. “We are already understaffed. If women are appointed, we will be forced to provide them with six months maternity leave among others. It will cripple the force,” said another official.

Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode are the other main centres which will induct women to the Fire Force. The remaining smaller centres will also receive women. Tamil Nadu and Mumbai were the first states to induct women into their fire force.

PSC posting
Of the 100 women who will be deployed across Kerala, 15 posts have been allotted for Ernakulam alone. According to Ernakulam District Fire Officer Joji, the women will be selected through Kerala Public Service Commission. Once selected, the women will be appointed in the force in six months where they will be given further training on how to handle the fire equipment, build their confidence skills and how to manage crisis situations.

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