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Smti. Varsha Sharma (IPS) holds a press conference: Strengthening efforts for Fire Service, Police Marine Force, and Police Training School to address long-term challenges: DIGP

TMI Correspondent

Port Blair, Jan. 8: As per the directions of the Director General of Police, A&N Police, Shri Devesh Chandra Srivastva (IPS), the Dy. Inspector General of Police (Fire Service), Smti. Varsha Sharma (IPS), interacted with scribes in a press conference held at Fire Services Headquarters on Jan. 08, 2024, and highlighted the Annual Achievements-2023 of Andaman & Nicobar Police's respective units viz. Fire Service, Police Marine Force, and Police Training School. She stated that the Andaman & Nicobar Fire Service & Emergency Services are working professionally and braving all odds to enhance safety and security in these Islands.

In Fire Services, the Fire Stations across the Islands attended 416 fire calls and 673 special service calls, saving property worth more than Rs. 88,42,73,350/- during the year 2023. About 167 Fire Mitras have been identified so far, and 'Fire Mitra Basic Training' has been provided to them by Expert Fire Service Officers. All 24 Fire Service Stations in the A&N Islands are equipped with FTTH connection and under CCTV surveillance.

Smti. Varsha Sharma further mentioned that the fire service is fully equipped with modern firefighting equipment such as fire-resistant suits/masks/helmets, etc. Drones, Fire Fighting Suits with Body Camera, Helmets with lights, and more Fire Tenders, Utility Vehicles, etc., are being procured to strengthen the fleet of the Fire Service. Responding to scribes, she said congested places will be identified to install fire hydrant systems wherever necessary in the city, as done in the Pongy Kyong Basthi. To mitigate the shortage of manpower in Fire Services, the constable and driver posts will be filled up shortly. However, she added, "About 500 fire personnel are available in the A&N Fire Service who are well-trained and expertise in firefighting skills, with this, we believe they are like 5000 firefighters. The promotions of the personnel are also in progress and are being pursued rigorously with MHA."

Regarding the Police Marine Force, she informed that with 90 personnel (Crew) and 10 Fast Interceptor Boats and other 65 boats such as FRP, Gemini, etc., with weapons and cameras, the force keeps a vigil on intruders in creeks and other strategic locations. She mentioned that a Quick Response Team has recently been launched, patrolling near the harbor area 24x7 within the limits of 5 to 12 nautical miles from the shore. Four more are being procured to strengthen the fleet of the Police Marine Force.

About the Police Training School, she stated that the latest computers with modern facilities are available and are used for conducting training on Cybersecurity and creating awareness among citizens in coordination with experts and also trains new recruits to further enhance the capabilities of law enforcement. About 464 First Aid Firefighting classes were conducted, sensitizing 32,291 persons (students, teachers, government employees, and civilians), while 324 Mock Drills were conducted in Fire Stations situated across the Islands. The Fire Service has also initiated the 'Fire Mitra' Scheme, involving community members in assisting the Fire Service of A&N Islands during Fire & Emergency situations.

In concluding her statement about the achievements and activities, the Dy. Inspector General of Police (Fire Service), Smti. Varsha Sharma (IPS) mentioned that Fire Personnel are working selflessly with a single motto to save the lives and property of the Islanders, risking their own lives during massive fire accidents in the Isles. The Fire Service Units across the Islands are being strengthened to meet the challenges in the long run, she added.

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