The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Crash course in blaze check
- Six-month study will turn science graduates into fire-fighters

Those who want excitement in their jobs should join the fire services. With this in mind, the department has decided to introduce a six-month crash course for science graduates.

Fire services minister Pratim Chatterjee said on completion of the course, a candidate can join an industrial house as a fire brigade officer.

The announcement was made on Thursday at the annual athletic–cum-professional duty meet of the West Bengal Fire Services at the Institute of Fire Services at Silpara, in Thakurpukur. Transport minister Subhas Chakraborty was present.

Fire minister Chatterjee said that on completion of the training, youths could be absorbed by industrial houses, specially those dealing in chemicals or hazardous items. “This will help the industrialists save their establishments in case of a blaze,” Chatterjee said.

Moreover, the minister said, his department had a host of posts vacant and he had already written to the finance department for the necessary sanction.

“If more and more youths can be inducted into the force, we could also overhaul the equipment and fire-fighting gear,” he conceded.

Elaborating on the course, the minister said each batch would train 30 candidates and it was expected that every year, 60 graduates would pass out. The training will be given at Thakurpukur’s Institute of Fire Services, where students will learn various ways of combating fire.

On the issue of industrial houses having to pay a fee for fire-fighting, the minister said that the main purpose of the charges was to create awareness among the industrialists to take steps to prevent fire.

“No doubt, every fire-fighting operation will enable the department to earn some money, but that is not the aim. The thrust is to make the industrialists take adequate steps to prevent a blaze in their own establishments,” minister Chatterjee asserted.

Transport minister Chakraborty said that fire-fighting needs a lot of dedication and sincerity both on the part of the employee and society. Sometimes, people attack the fire-fighters when they go to douse a blaze, which was unwarranted.

“So, to change the attitude of the fire-fighters and society as a whole, fire-fighting as a course should be introduced at the school level,” he felt. “This will help society to combat blazes smoothly on their own,” he said.

R.K. Prasannan, secretary of the department, disclosed that the Fire Service College offers degrees that cover the entire job of fire-fighting. Such types of institutions should always be encouraged, he added.

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