In June 2017, Anupama Hotel, a seven-storied building in Madhuranagar at Shamshabad, Telangana, caught fire. There were 30 employees trapped inside the building. As the fire was engulfing the top two floors they could not come out of the building through the stairs. So, they all rushed to the rooftop in a state of panic.
Telangana State Response & Fire Services Department (TNSDRFSD) and the watchtower of Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) team of GMR Hyderabad International Ltd (GHIAL) received the call about this mishap. After alerting the superiors, Superintendent Dharamvir Singh rushed to the spot quickly.
Dharamvir Singh, currently a Fire Superintendent in GHIAL, joined the department on 26th December 2006. He has been working as a firefighter for the past 16 years. He has previously worked with Dubai Port of Authority (UAE) and Essar Steel, Surat, Gujarat.
“When I received the call, as a fire officer, my first and foremost thought was just to support Telangana Fire department”, explains Dharamvir.
After reaching the accident site, Dharamvir met the incident commander of Telangana fire service to coordinate with the rescue operation. The building was engulfed in smoke by the time the team reached and the fire department was running short of water. To help them fight the fire, Dharamvir using his presence of mind, quickly connected his vehicle’s water supply to that of the department.
Dharamvir noticed the fire emanating from the medical shop on the ground floor. This had the potential of spreading to the residential flats above. Dharamvir went right to the origin of fire by quickly wearing the protective equipment and breathing apparatus. He reached the second floor, risking his own life and saved 30 people who were trapped on the rooftop.
For this act of bravery, Dharamvir Singh received the Telangana State Gallantry Award in January 2018. He is the first civilian to receive this award.
“Saving lives is a part of my job and I feel I have done that perfectly”, Dharamvir explains us.
“Since, last 16 years of my service in the fire department. I have saved so many properties but this is the first incident where I got a chance to save so many lives.” Dharamvir has no words to explain the feeling he has on saving lives and receiving this honor.
What does Dharamvir feel about the recent fire Kamala mills & Bengaluru Kailash bar fire tragedies?
“In my opinion, staff those who were working in Kamala mills & Kailash bar was, not aware of how to use fire protection & Prevention system during the emergency”. Fire safety awareness is crucial, this helps us to be prepared. The awareness helps us to know what to do in case of emergencies.
Fire safety regulations and implementation in India is still a far cry as compared to the developed countries. In our society, there is a prevailing laxity when it comes to fire safety. Dharamvir strongly feels that if we are more responsible and emphasize our rule makers to be more stringent. Then there will be compliance.
For us, Dharmvir Singh is a fire champion! We are proud of you!
If you know of any citizens or firefighters who are fire champions whom we can feature in our FIRE CHAMPION series please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Savitha Sampath is a Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, mom, and an accidental writer.