The fire brigade station on the premises of Chhapra police lines has no driver for the past three months to steer its two fire tenders.
During fire-related cases reported to the station, the in-charge officer of the Chhapra fire station has to drive the vehicle to reach the accident site.
The in-charge, Devendra Kumar Verma, said: “There is a need of at least 18 firemen and three lead officers. But we have only one leading fireman for the past few years. The posts of three drivers are also vacant at the moment.”
The fire station here is plagued with many problems like shortage of firemen, lack of small vehicles to fight fire in crowded places, lack of support staff and a proper garage for the vehicles.
The fire station has two vehicles. In cases of twin emergencies at the same time, only one place can be attended because the office in-charge himself has to drive the vehicle, said sources.
“Around six homeguard jawans are there for any kind of emergency but we need trained people. A post of sub-inspector is vacant. I have written a letter to the district magistrate, commandant of home guard and the state fire brigade officer regarding the shortcomings and have requested to fill up the posts as soon as possible,” Verma said.
The lone lead fireman, Upendra Tiwary, said: “I have to shoulder the entire responsibility to extinguish fire with the help of homeguard jawans.”
The manpower crisis started after retirements continued and no appointments were made since 1990. Sources said there are 109 fire stations in the entire state where only 252 personnel work.