Millennium Post

Away from home and family, firefighters keep Delhiites safe

NEW DELHI: As residents of Delhi celebrated Diwali with fervour along with their families on Thursday, around 1,800 firefighters of Delhi Fire Service (DFS) were on duty away from their family.
Talking to Millennium Post, Chief Fire Officer of DFS Atul Garg stated that the children of DFS officials and personnel almost never get to celebrate Diwali with their fathers. "For us, duty comes first. We are here to save people," said Garg.
Even those fire department personnel who get to stay at home tend to offer Diwali puja in uniform, in case their duty calls them.
Sunil Chaudhary, a senior fire official, was celebrating Diwali with his wife when he was informed of the fire in a godown at Gandhi Nagar. He wasted no time and left at a moment's notice.
The same was the situation with Divisional Officer Sanjay Tomar, who also went for fire calls. Sharing his experience, Tomar told Millennium Post that his children understand that he has to sacrifice festivals to save the lives of people.
"If we are having food, a fire call comes, I leave the plate unfinished and rush to the spot," said Tomar, adding that during Diwali he does not get to sleep much.
In 2016, DFS received fire-related calls almost every minute. Sometimes, even family members call the fire department to enquire about the well being of the personnel.
"Whenever we go to the fire calls, family members are afraid. It's a tough job, so they call us to know about our safety," said a fire official.
One of the fire personnel said that he wished his family and children through video calling. A young firefighter, who joined DFS a week ago, said that he knows about the life of a firefighter very well as many of his relatives are in the fire department.
"During Diwali in 2016, I was with my family. Today, on Diwali, my family called me to ask if I could come for a few hours. But for me it was impossible as I was on duty," rues the young fire firefighter.

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