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National Fire Service Day 2021 | Theme, History and Significance of NFS Day week - April 14

National Fire Service Day 2021 | Theme, History and Significance of NFS Day - April 14
National Fire Service Day 2021

National Fire Service Day 2021 | Theme, History and Significance of NFS Day Week - April 14

National Fire Service Day: April 14th is observed as National Fire Service Day also known as "MARTYR'S DAY" every year in India to tribute those brave firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty during the fire and massive explosion at Mumbai dockyard on April 14, 1944.

It is worth noting that the National Fire Service Day - April 14 is observed and not celebrated as we pay homage to the martyr and conduct an awareness program to avoid such situations in a timely manner.

This day is the symbol of the discipline, courage and dedication of the firefighters as their motto is "Serve to save lives and property".

In India, on April 14 of each year, all firefighters as well as civilians pay tribute to those courageous firefighters who sacrificed their lives in the performance of their duties.

 

History of National Fire Service Day, April 14th

During World War II, at Mumbai Victoria Dock, the SS Fort Stikine freight carrying a mixed cargo of cotton balls, oil drums, gold and tons of explosives (ammunition), halted overnight. Everything was normal, but on April 14, 1944, the ship caught fire and was destroyed in two giant explosions, scattering debris, sinking surrounding ships and fires in the area killing around 800 people.

The sequence of the incident was explained as

1. The cargo ship SS Fort Stikine left Birkenhead on February 24, 1944 and arrived at Victoria Port of Mumbai via Karachi on April 12, 1944.

2. At approximately 2:00 pm, the crew observed smoke on board and called the fire crew to identify the source of the fire and extinguish it.

3. The quayside fire crew and dock crews were unable to contain the blaze and were also unable to locate the source due to the dense smoke.

4. The firefighters tried lot to control the fire, but the situation worsened, the fire was out of control and, therefore, around 3:50 pm, the full evacuation order was given to all emergency responders. But the firefighters were still doing their job and suddenly the first explosion occurred which split the ship into two parts. The impact of this explosion was recorded 12 km away where the windows of the house shattered.

5. After the first explosion, many firefighters were injured and shifted to a medical center. However, the courageous firefighters did not give up the fight with the fire and new firefighters arrived at the scene of the emergency, they continued to fight the fire. Unfortunately, the second massive explosion occurred and it was so powerful that it was recorded by seismographs in Shimla, a town over 1,700 km away. The sound of an explosion was heard 80 km away.

6. Debris and burning materials spread the fire to the slums and neighboring buildings. The entire Victoria dock was destroyed, 11 nearby ships sank and the blaze covered approximately 2 square kilometers.

7. First responders at the site suffered heavy casualties and approximately 66 firefighters lost their lives.

Many people were killed outside the wharf area by falling shells and shells that exploded on impact. The canals near the quays were full of obstacles and much of the land was completely devastated. It took four days to put out the main fire, and for another two weeks smaller fires continued through the ruins.

A total of 231 people assigned to the various services died and 476 were injured. Outside the docks, more than 500 civilians were killed and 2,408 others injured. 13 ships were lost, 50,000 tonnes of ships were destroyed and an additional 50,000 tonnes were severely damaged.

The Standing Fire Services Advisory Committee (SFAC) was formed by the Ministry of home affair on the recommendation of the Conference of Fire Chiefs of India in 1955 and was subsequently revised to expand the number of members to include all representatives of the state government, representatives of all the union territories and other central ministries. At the first meeting, the SFAC recommended adhering to a fire prevention week across India once a year, which was implemented immediately.

In 1965, at its eleventh meeting, the Committee decided that there should be a day designated each year as “Fire Service Day”. They also suggested observing this day on April 14 each year to commemorate the brave firefighters who lost their lives in the pier explosion in Mumbai on April 14, 1944. In Nov 1966 it was officially declared.

 

Significance of Nation Fire Service Day and Fire Service Week

April 14 is observed as National Service Day every year across India to pay homage to the brave firefighters who scarified their lives in the line of duty while fighting the fires. Even after the incident at the Mumbai dockyard on April 14, 1944, while fighting the fire, so many firefighters lose their lives every year and therefore on April 14 of each year, respect and homage is paid to these brave firefighters. To prevent such fire and explosion incidents, it is necessary to organize several fire safety awareness programs for civilians, schoolchildren and industry.

Each year, the Directorate General Fire Services and Civil Defense publishes the theme for organizing various fire safety programs during observance of Fire Services Week from 14th to 20th April in order to educate the general public about the need to minimize losses from fires. The DGFS also called on Industries, city fire brigade and various advertising media to make the fire safety program effective in order to ensure that the advertising campaign generates the maximum public impact.

DGFS also provide electronic mass printing and awareness materials that can be reproduced as required to publicize fire safety widely to the community.

The fire safety awareness program may include

1. Training in fire prevention and protection with demonstration

2. Essays, slogans and posters competition

3. Distribution of fire badges

4. Use of the media and the Internet

5. Observance of Fire Service Day

6. Fire safety audits

7. Mass awareness program including fire evacuation drill in schools

8. Fire Mock drills in industries

9. Hose, Hydrant drills and rescue drill for workers and firefighters. etc. 


Theme for National Fire Service Day April 14, 2021

"Maintenance of Fire Safety Equipment is key to Mitigate Fire Hazards"


Theme for National Fire Service Day April 14, 2021 in Hindi

"अग्नि सुरक्षा उपकरणों का रख-रखाव आग के  खतरों को कम करने के लिए महत्वपूर्ण है"


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