Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Stressed fire fighters work sans leave, weekly-oofs

 The fire fighting personnel risk their lives at stake in order to save others. Whereas they are encountering several problems and are working in stress due to severe shortage of staff.

The fire fighting personnel in Mysuru are working more than 18 hours at a stretch due to dearth of staff and are even working on their weekly offs. Because of poor working conditions and the negligence shown by the Government they are depressed and demoralised.

Fire station has short of 45 personnel and it has become challenging for staff to handle and bear the work pressure. The improper leave structure and the severe shortage in staff has led to work beyond time stipulations for the existing staff. This apart, with non recruitment of D group employees, the drivers, fireman have to clean the toilets, and rush during emergency.

Speaking to Express in anonymity, fire fighting personnel said that they are not getting leave and not even weekly offs. 'With only two fireman drivers it has become hard to maintain six vehicles in the department round the clock. We are not able to spend quality time with family and we are reeling under stress. Since 2008, the posts are not filled, and with retirements of staffs the work pressure are increasing day by day.

There are eight posts vacant out of sanctioned 12 posts for fireman drivers; 31 fireman posts are vacant out of 37; and Six post of leading fire man is vacant, out of sanctioned 9. Among the existing four drivers one is permanent driver for Regional Fire Officer, and another driver is working at Nanjangud Division. The remaining two drivers and six fireman are working over time and are attending an average of around 500 calls every year, apart from about 30-40 emergency calls to rescue animals.

Mysuru being CM's home town, any VIP movement, famous jatras they have to be in the place. During farmers protest at Cauvery basin the fire fighting personnel had a tough time to handle the situation with shortage of staff. This apart, people also call fire fighting personnel for rescue of animals/ birds caught on electric poles, fallen in trench, gorge, etc.

Divisional Fire Officer KP Gururaj said that following cauvery agitation, dasara leaves were not granted, adding within six months 70 posts will be filled in the Mysuru division.  

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