Monday, April 27, 2009

Goan women now eligible for fire-fighting

It is certainly not a man's world anymore. At least not in Goa. With women already occupying responsible positions in India's defence, police, pilots etc, it was only a matter of time before they broke through another male dominated bastion in Goa. Firefighters. The Goa state fire force throwing its doors open to women to sign up as firefighters in the state's force was therefore a welcome step.

Women joining the Goa firefighters force will be initially given fire prevention duties. Goa's state fire force has already replaced the term "fireman" with "firefighter" while a permission from the home department is awaited for a change in the recruitment rules to enable women to take up operational duties in Goa. The same is necessitated due to the fact that presently, there are no recruitment rules and requirements of physical standards for women personnel, so these are expected to be framed shortly. Women are expected to be enrolled in the positions of officer and firefighter level.

Those women applying for the position for firefighters in Goa, will have to undergo six months of training and will further be sent to the national Fire service college at Nagpur for further training.

In the gradual transition, women personnel will be initially placed on the fire prevention cell and will be given charge to check buildings and other sites to see if they meet fire safety norms before receiving a certification. They will later be deputed for on-site firefighting duties.

Rescue operations could also be taken up by the women personnel particularly in cases of rescuing women and children during a fire incident. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are reported to be the only two states besides Goa to have a presence of women in the firefighters department

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