Fire and Emergency Services Jammu and Kashmir

The Fire and Emergency Services J&K was established in the year 1893 as Srinagar Fire Brigade. Some of the town areas were also having their fire brigades with few men. Earlier axes were used for hewing planks and rafters of burning buildings and buckets were used for throwing water. This was later replaced by steam engines which were made operational by burning firewood to heat up water and were taken to places on carts pulled by firemen. The equipment was later replaced by steam engines which were operated by burning fire wood to heat up water and were taken to places on carts. The department was initially having 05 Fire Stations and 60 Firemen and is the 3rd oldest Fire Brigade of the country after Mumbai (1803) and Kolkata (1822). It is presently 4th largest Fire Services of the country. Initially, the department was having 05 Fire Stations which have now gone to 180 Fire Stations and across the Union Territory.

The motto of Fire and Emergency Services is “We serve to Save” and officers/ men of the Department are always a ring away from the call of their duties. Daring risky and life endangering situations, the Firemen have always risked their lives for the safety of others and made supreme sacrifices in the pursuit of their call of duty. The Department is indebted to sacrifices of these heroes.

The Department has procured high-tech fire fighting and disaster management equipments and is exploring options to consistently strengthen and improve the infrastructural availability in the Department. Training is also one of the core priorities of the Department to enhance the capacity building of the available human resources in tackling the emergencies.

The Fire Services was a part of J&K Police till 1978 and thereafter assumed as an independent Department within services of J&K Government. The role and scope of duties of the Department was enlarged to the responsibility of disaster management including rescue operations in the event of natural and man-made disasters in the year 2004 the department has been renamed as “Fire and Emergency Services, J&K” vide Govt. Order No.Home-196 (Fire) of 2004 dated 08.06.2004.

Working of the Department:

  1. To safeguard life and property of common masses.
  2. Disaster Management.
  3. Fire fighting and mitigation of losses in fires even during terrorist attacks, cross firing, bomb/ mine blasts.
  4. Rescue during floods/ flash floods.
  5. Dewatering during floods and heavy rains.
  6. Providing of potable drinking water during floods as well as drought.
  7. Evacuation of affected people in both rural and urban areas.
  8. Search and rescue in the areas hit by earthquakes.
  9. Fire Prevention Public Awareness through print and electronic media; conducting seminars, delivering lectures in public gatherings, educational institutions, conducting of inspections, fire auditing; risk assessment and recommendations thereof; mock drills in various industries and commercial/ Government institutions.
  10. Establishment of Temporary Stations during VVIP visits, religious/ public gatherings, exhibitions, establishment of number of temporary Fire & Emergency Stations every year during Holy Amar Nath Ji yatra and other festivals.
  11. Upkeep and maintenance of large fleet of appliances, equipment and portable pumps.

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The Fire and Emergency Services, J&K is presently spread over 175 Fire and Emergency Stations all over the State.

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Thus the sphere of the duties has been enhanced from rescue and fire fighting to disaster management, Search and Rescue from earthquakes, flash floods, land/mud slides, avalanches, catastrophes and conflagrations, road & rail accidents and Air crashes, under-water rescue besides manmade disasters like war, air raids, bomb blasts are added challenges for Fire and Emergency Services Jammu and Kashmir. Main operations include: