With only 27 firefighters working against the sanctioned strength of 86 and eight drivers against 19 posts, the Ludhiana fire department is struggling with acute staff shortage, besides equipment.
Local bodies minister Anil Joshi had announced recruitment for 127 posts of firefighters, leading firefighters and drivers for the fire stations of Bathinda, Faridkot, Rampura Phul, Jalandhar, Khanna, Dera Bassi, SAS Nagar, Moga, Dasua and Gidderbaha. But there is no sigh of relief for the largest city of Punjab — Ludhiana, which is continuously being ignored by the government.
Currently, the majority of employees of the Ludhiana fire department are working up to 12 hours daily instead of eight hours due to staff shortage. Even the firefighters and leading firefighters have not been provided safety equipment which include dress and advanced equipment that can help and protect them during a fire-fighting operation.
According to information collected from the fire department, there are 14 fire trucks at five fire stations in the city, but only eight drivers to run these vehicles.
According to sources, on an average two fire incidents area reported in the city in a day.
Out of 19 posts of drivers, 11 are lying vacant. Also, one post of leading fireman is vacant out of total 18.
An employee of the fire department said, “The government should pay attention towards how we work in tough conditions that too without any safety gear. There is a provision of safety kit, but we have not been provided with it. Also, we are not being paid for working overtime.”
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