KARACHI: Not worrying about danger it might even risk your life due to lack of proper protective equipment basically fire- resistant fire suits in Karachi is always negotiating with narrow streets and busy roads to get to the place to put out the flames.
Appeal to Anadolu agency on the day before of International Day of Firefighters, celebrated on Wednesday, Humayun Khan, head of rescue operations of Karachi fire brigade, said lack of equipment was disabled in them work serve 20 million population of in city.
“Absence of fire- resistant suits, gas masks, gloves, shoes, helmets and others equipment often result in loss of lives, injuries and numerous diseases, firefighters have to confront in for a long time run” he said.
Currently cityx century-old fire the Department operating with total 45 active fire engines and some over 1000 firefighters to help fire accidents in a growing metropolis.
There are only five snorkel ladders in the department, of of which there are only two in put working condition out fires in high-rise building.
Khan said that according to international standards, and city like Karachi should have at least 600 fire engines along with 200 ambulances and the same number of snorkel ladders, in addition to the labor force of at least 2000.
Above past two decades about 18 firefighters died in line of duty, while dozens were seriously burned or injured, he said.
“We risk our lives to protect the lives and property of others. (But) in we’ll be back, we’re not enjoy even basic promotion or any kind of confession. Not even life and health insurance. for us,” he said.
About 12 Karachi firefighters were awarded medals. of bravery government for sacrificing your life in line of duty.
Karachi got its first fire station in 1914 during the British colonial era.
“The best firefighters in in world’
“They are best firefighters in in world, I would say. Because they operating against with all the chances and without any recognition,” said an emotional Khan.
“They act in two shifts of 12 hours against in international labor law,” he said. addedrecognizing that firefighters receive overtime pay for their extra workbut and it’s not paid off for for a long time.
a lack of of personnel and opportunities often force fire search team help of armed forces, especially the Pakistan Navy, and others government departments with their own fire departments, in case of Huge fire.
Ali Hassan Sajid, Press Secretary for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), which runs in fire department, said another 44 fire engines and three snorkel ladders are “repairable”, claiming a shortage of funds were issue in update fire department.
” fire the department currently has no major problems other than for deficit of staff, for what measures are being taken to attract additionally trained personnel,” Sajid told Anadolu news agency.
He said fire department plans teach private sector, especially industrial workers who will help reduce room of losses in case of fires.
Unplanned urbanization and growing city population in recent decades made things are getting worse for firefighters to perform their duties according to city planners.
“Line of problems associated with rampant urbanization and illegal construction in cities like Karachi is made business further complicated and difficult for fire department, which already reeling from inaccessibility of equipment and means”, Arif Hassan, famous city planner, Anadolu reported.
Mushroom growth of high-rise buildings and constructions of living quarters without maintenance required the gap, he said, narrowed the streets, making it difficult for fire engines to get to the crash site.
Local fire units don’t even have required equipment work in case of fire in high-rise buildings, he added.
“Violations of relevant laws, especially in the field of construction of dual fire- goes out in high-rise buildings and hydrants (to provide water fire engines) in new housing projects are other factors behind losses that could otherwise have been avoided,” he argued.
Once a promising and effective unit until the mid-80s, fire the department was gradually overshadowed by political appointments.
“They (political appointees) hardly fit their duties. They just get paid or stay home or working in the offices of the respective political parties”, senior department official told Anadolu agency, on condition of anonymity.
“We cannot take any action against them. Even if we serve (them) some kind of notice, their political mentors will come to save them.”
Many place the blame for political appointments on The Muttahid Qaumi Movement (MQM), which claims to represent the Urdu-speaking city population who migrated from India during partition in 1947
MOM that was a part of another government coalitions over in past three decades, denies the charge.
Referring to the lack of funds as key factor behind restructuring of in fire unit, official said government of Sindh stripped KMC of huge earnings taking control of its “most profitable” departments.