PM shows firm commitment to building Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense
11 November 2015, Nirapad News: Reiterating her government’s firm commitment to building Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense with world class equipment, Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina today asked its members to stand by the helpless people and serve them as trusted friends in any disaster and accident.
“Despite the limited resources, our government is very much active to continue the trend of development of the Fire Service and Civil Defense. I believe that you would render your services with utmost honesty, patriotism and professionalism for the welfare of the country and the nation,” she said.
While formally inaugurating the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense Week 2015 at Fire Service and Civil Defense Training Complex in the city’s Mirpur area this morning, the Prime Minister also said her government has already made arrangements for training for enhancing the professionalism of the firefighters.
The Prime Minister witnessed a spectacular parade of the members of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence. She also witnessed their life saving exercises on fire extinguishing, earthquake, drowning and accidents.
Sheikh Hasina also handed over “state medals” to members of the Fire Service and Civil Defense as recognition to their heroic role during different disasters and accidents for the years of 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The Prime Minister also called upon the countrymen irrespective of their classes and professions to work for nation- building and stand beside the helpless people. Extending her heartfelt thanks to the members of the Fire Service and Civil Defense for gaining the trust of the common people through their sincerity, integrity and courage, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been implementing various projects to build this force with international standard rescue equipment.
The Prime Minister extended her heartfelt thanks to the members of Fire Service and Civil Defense as they have demonstrated their sign of success in the past in many infernos as well as river and road accidents and landslides and building collapses like the Rana Plaza collapse, Nimtoli, Tazrin Fashion and Bashundhara Shopping Mall fire incidents. She also extended her thanks to all law enforcement agencies including Bangladesh Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, RAB, BGB for undertaking coordinated efforts during these accidents.
Pointing out that dousing fire in multistoried buildings is a big challenge for the country, Sheikh Hasina said that state-of- the-art equipment have already been procured in this regard with Tk 200 crore. “A process is underway to procure more equipment.” She said that it was seen in the past that approval was given for constructing multistoried buildings, but, there was no initiative how rescue operations would be conducted there in case of any fire incident or earthquake.
The Prime Minister thanked the Chinese government for providing some 50 ambulances, 100 towing vehicles, 150 fire fighting motor cycles, one big water carrying vehicle, one foam vehicle and other rescue equipment for tackling disasters to Fire Service and Civil Defense as grant under an MoU signed between Bangladesh and China during her visit to the country last year.
Following the farsighted steps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to well equip the Fire Service, Sheikh Hasina said after long 21 years in 1996, her government then undertook various programmes to improve the standard of this emergency services institution. Then within two months of again assuming office in 2009, she said that the Awami League government reorganized massively this institution and took plan for setting up fire station in each upazila for which the government is working tirelessly.
The Prime Minister informed that since 2009, some 100 new fire stations have been constructed in the country, while 298 fire stations conducting its operation across the country. Besides, the work on constructing 251 more fire stations is underway which is being implemented through four projects. Once these projects are completed by 2016, the Prime Minister said that the number of fire stations in the country would stand at 549 while the manpower of this force would increase to 15,000 in future from the existing 8,354. “It’s my belief that this would bring an epoch-making change in the Fire Service and Civil Defense,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the government has formed five international-standard urban search and rescue teams to conduct speedy rescue operations to face earthquake, especially collapsed building.
“We have made arrangements for higher training for the fire fighters at home and abroad, side by side with creating 62,000 volunteers across the country as a supportive force,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said training on fire extinguishing has been provided to 2.10 lakh fire fighters to ensure fire safety in the garment industry and raise public awareness.
As many as 218 posts for inspectors have been created for increasing inspections, she said. Putting emphasis on training for the school, college and university students about fire safety and other natural disasters, the Prime Minister said her government would take initiatives in this regard. “I think the students should have general knowledge to this end,” she said.
Mentioning the maritime victory over India and Myanmar, the Prime Minister also placed emphasis on formation of a special group for ensuring security of the tourists who will travel to different sea beaches across the country.