At least 2,500 firemen, equipped with 200-odd fire tenders and advanced fire-fighting machines, will be deployed at Delhi’s 66 fire stations and an additional 23 vulnerable locations to deal with any fire incidents during Diwali celebrations on Sunday, the Delhi Fire Services (DFS) said on Saturday.
DFS director Atul Garg said that the weekend leaves of all the 2,500-odd firemen, including 75 officers ranging from station officer to director, have been cancelled in view to strengthen the department’s presence on the roads.
“Apart from our 66 fire stations, we have also identified 23 vulnerable locations where we will be keeping our men and fire tenders ready to respond to emergencies,” said Garg.
These 23 spots include South Extension, Lajpat Nagar Central Market, Tilak Nagar, Mehrauli police station area, Rani Bagh Market, Gandhi Nagar Market and Mahipalpur Chowk. “These 23 spots were identified as most vulnerable, as well as strategic to our efforts to reach other vulnerable places quickly,” said Garg.
Additionally, three motorcycle fire responders — with backpack-sized machines equipped with water mist technology — will be deployed in the congested lanes of Ambedkar Nagar, Paharganj and Kapashera for quicker response in the congested neighbourhoods.
Somvir Singh, an assistant divisional officer with the DFS, said apart from the fire tenders, there are a host of big and small robots, aerial water towers, snake ladders, hydraulic platforms and other such equipment that will assist in firefighting.
“Additionally, the fire department will be using seven sports utility vehicles (SUVs) at seven spots such as Connaught Circus, Shankar Road, Safdarjung, Laxmi Nagar and Janakpuri to quickly respond to any eventuality,” said Singh.
The fire department will be at its most alert for a six-hour period between 6pm and 12 midnight on Sunday. In this “peak hour” last year, there were 201 fire incidents across Delhi. This number stood at 152 in 2021.
“If the public complies with the rules related to bursting firecrackers, we may see fewer fire calls this year. We appeal to the public to be cautious while dealing with firecrackers,” said Singh.