A senior officer of the fire department has alleged serious irregularities committed by 74 firemen for promotion to the post of Leading Fireman and red-flagged this in a confidential report to the Municipal Corporation Commissioner. In the report, seen by Chandigarh Newsline, Sub Fire Officer Anil Sharma has pointed out that the firemen were obtaining the mandatory heavy vehicle driving licence for firefighting trucks with 6 to 10 tyres through “unfair means without driving skills [for] fire tenders” and asked that fresh driving tests be conducted for all of them in view of “public safety” issues involved.
The Sub Fire Officer had conducted an inquiry after receiving anonymous complaints. He then sent it to the Station Fire Officer who forwarded it to the senior authorities. The Departmental Promotion Committee is meeting on September 25. The report stated, “Possession of heavy vehicle driving licence as per said rules for promotion to the post of leading firemen is mandatory because in case the driver of the fire tender fails to perform this duty due to unavoidable circumstances during the way to a fire or rescue call, then the Leading Fireman will perform the duty of a driver of fire tender.
It is further stated that it has been learnt by the undersigned that most of the officials enlisted for the promotion are unaware of the driving skills and have obtained the heavy vehicle driving licence by unfair means which can be proved after the road/deck test of these officials.”
It further specified, “Keeping in view the safety of public, before promoting any official to the post of Leading Fireman, driving test of each and every fireman to be conducted on the deck as well as the road with audio/video recording to avoid any kind of fraud.”
The Sub Fire Officer also raised questions on the authenticity of training obtained for the water supply distribution system, which is another key criterion for promotion. It means that firemen should be trained in fixed firefighting installation, pump operation, hydraulics, water relay and the like. However, the official has pointed out in his report that all the training the firemen got was under the public health wing which sent them with tankers to supply water in houses.
Sharma stated that the role of an official needs to be examined as he “got the letter issued from MC on May 5, 2018, that training of water supply distribution system be done from the MC public health division without consultation of any fire officer who has technical knowledge”.
“The said course of water supply distribution system has no authenticity and relevance with the fire department and firefighting technology and should be verified and authenticated from Director NFSC (National Fire Service College) Nagpur or Fire Advisor Government of India,” he stated in his report.
MC Commissioner KK Yadav said the matter was serious and he will get everything verified and examined again. “I will get it examined and the driving test will be taken again. We will also get the water supply distribution training authenticated from the competent authority,” he added.
Chief Fire Officer Anil Garg said he needed some more details and will be asking the official who conducted the enquiry for those.