The week-long Fire Safety Week at AAI was held as a tribute to valiant firefighters who sacrificed their lives during fire-fighting, further creating awareness and guiding the citizens on both avoiding and tackling fire mishaps
Words: Directorate of Fire Services, AAI
Every year, April 14 is observed as the Fire Service Day and the week following the day as the Fire Service Week (FSW) in remembrance of lives lost in the devastating fire that erupted and the explosions that followed at Victoria Dock in the Mumbai Port.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been vigilant in tackling emergency of various kinds with par excellence, giving special attention to fire safety. AAI, as an organisation, is involved in aircraft and airport operations, which need a safe and secure environment for the passengers and staff alike. With an aim to educate the masses, Fire Service Week was observed at all AAI Airports where various community awareness activities were undertaken.
Need for Fire prevention
The Fire Safety Week is a grim reminder of the destructive potential of fire and need for fire prevention efforts. Every year fire incidents take a heavy toll in terms of human lives and property loss. As per the estimates of National Safety Council of India, fire incidents leads to around 25,000 deaths and `2,700 cores worth property loss annually. At the moment, it is a prerequisite that all sections of society, business and industry should review and develop suitable strategies for fire prevention and undertake a campaign for fire safety during the Fire Service Week.
Activities of prevention
Prevention is better than cure and AAI analyses the importance of promptly understanding the nature of fire and deal with the same taking appropriate measures.
During the Fire Safety Week, AAI organised fire prevention awareness campaigns at schools near AAI Airports, imparting practical demonstration and tips on fire prevention and protection and contingency handling to students. It was indeed a successful campaign with more than 10,000 schoolchildren partaking in awareness programme across India, which also included activities like drawing and painting. First-aid fire-fighting training was given to airlines and other agencies staff working at the airport. Banners were displayed with the theme – Fire Prevention is better than Fire Fighting – issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to commemorate the occasion.
AAI’s fire services expertise, including the new-age Crash Tenders and modern equipment, were showcased during the week. Fire-fighting drills, water sprinklers, fire hydrant and other competitions were part of the week-long activities, which also involved participation of fire Department staff.
Wreaths were laid on the Fire Fighters Memorial by Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI who graced the closing ceremony with his presence at Fire Training Center (FTC), New Delhi. The ceremony witnessed a parade and a march-past organised by the trainees and fire personnel posted at FTC, Delhi where the Hon’ble Chairman presided the event as the ‘Chief Commander’ and accepted the salute from the marching squads.
Remarkable shows based on various rescue and fire-fighting demonstrations were also staged at the event. Speaking on the occasion, the Chairman praised the Airport Fire Services for their professional competence, commitment, courage and the distinguished services they exhibited during various emergency situations in the past.
Adding to the fervour was a brilliant dance and music performance by the students of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Rangpuri during the occasion. A two-minutes silence was also observed in the memory of the brave fire fighters who sacrificed their lives during fire-fighting, instilling inspiration in the hearts of those who are eager to serve the country.