These unsung heroes

THE use of the word hero becomes synonymous with some professions, and fire-fighting is no exception. Though fire-fighters put their own life at risk to save life and property of others during emergencies, it is unfortunate that their heroic deed gets little recognition in the end. The fact of matter is that they run towards danger the rest of us from, and on several occasions, they embrace the ultimate sacrifice for which they deserve our respect and praise.
4th May was observed as the world fire fighters day in order to pay tributes to their sacrifices and services and for this purpose a number of events were organized in different cities including the federal capital and Rawalpindi by Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation and Rescue 1122. It is a matter of satisfaction that the fire-fighting department of federal capital and the Rescue 1122 service in Punjab has made tremendous strides over the last few years to improve its efficiency and capabilities in order to cope with any emergency like service. Most recently, one saw a number of fires breaking out at the Margallah Hills and it was good to see that the fire-fighting department was fast enough to put out the infernos despite difficult terrain, thus averting any major loss. Same is the case with Rescue 1122 service which has earned respect of the public at large because of its timely response to any kind of emergency. Nevertheless, in our view, still many major cities such as Karachi are ill prepared to meet with any infernos. Fire incidents are quite common there which always expose the weaknesses of the fire department. The city’s mayor, Wasim Akhtar, on more than one occasion has admitted the inefficiency of rescue department due to lack of latest machinery such as snorkels. Since Karachi is a thriving city with sky rocketing buildings, it, therefore, has become pivotal to equip its fire department with all the latest machinery and vehicles that are being used in any other developed city of the world. We already have seen many infernos in industries and big buildings inflicting major human and material losses. Turning back to the problem would amount to criminal negligence and in such kind of scenario; the fire-fighting staff also should not be blamed for the failures of those sitting at the helm of affairs. Fire-fighting is considered a respectable profession around the world and we also need to make it so by equipping it with latest tools and right kind of training coupled with better salary packages so that they could discharge their duties with perfection and satisfaction.

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