Fire Service

Brief History of Odisha Fire Service.

            Odisha Fire Service owes its origin to pre-independence era. It was in the year 1936 when Odisha became a separate state having its capital at Cuttack, the then British Police administration symbolically started Fire Service by putting some Fire buckets in front of its magazine guard at cantonment road, Cuttack. But during 2nd world war in the year 1942 when Japanese war planes started bombarding the coastal districts of Odisha specially in Kujanga & Paradip area of present Jagatsinghpur district, the British administration of Odisha decided to set up Fire Stations in the coastal districts.

            To start with the proposal, on 1st March 1942, 10 police constables with Havildar Sd. Sallimuddin under the charge of sergeant major Hurtson James were attached to cantonment Police Phandi (Police out post) at cantonment Road Cuttack for Firefighting duty. This unit was provided with two ford petrol driven trucks named as "Emergency Police Force". The pay & emoluments of Sergeant major (Fire) was fixed to Rs.40/-as per Govt. order No.1121/ARP dt.25.03.42. The Police personnel (Firemen) attached to cantonment Phandi for Firefighting were granted Fire brigade allowance of Rs.5/- per month wef.01.03.1942 vide DO. No.16 dt.01.03.1942. They were also given war allowance wef.01.09.1942. So officially Fire Service started in Odisha on 1st March 1942.

            In the year 1943 Fire advisor to Govt. of India visited Odisha to find out the feasibility for expansion of Fire Services in Odisha. As per his recommendation 04 Fire Stations were sanctioned for Balasore, Cuttack, Puri & Berhampur. In the same year recruitment was held for enrolment of regular Firemen for opening of these Fire Stations vide DO. No.41/1943. To begin with, 12 Firemen were recruited for opening of Puri F.S. Mr.Hemayat Khan, S/o-Neman Khan of Balipatna, Jagatsinghpur was first to join as regular Fireman on 27.07.1943 & his pay was fixed to Rs.15/- vide DO. No.41/1943. He was the first Fireman of Odisha Fire Service. Besides a regular Fire officer Mr. J.R.G. Hatchson Stainchane was posted vide office order No.243 dt. 12.08.1943. Havildar Sallimuddin who was under deputation from Police to Fire Service was promoted to the rank of Station Officer on 01.10.1943. He was the 1st Station Officer of Odisha Fire Service. The next man to get promotion to Station Officer was D.P. Mishra.

            The Cuttack Fire Station shifted from cantonment phandi to its present accommodation at Buxibazar in the year 1944. So Cuttack Fire Station assums the glory of being the first Fire Station of Odisha Fire Service. The other 03 Fire Stations at Puri, Balosore & Berhampur were made functional wef 01.04.1944 under the charge of district S.P.s as per vide G.O. No.3360 dt.12.04.1944.

            In 1950 after shifting of capital of Odisha from Cuttack to BBSR, Bhubaneswar Fire Station was opened. Similarly during construction of Hirakud Dam Sambalpur Fire Station was opened in the year 1954 inside Reserve Police Line, Sambalpur. In 1955, 07 Fire Stations were made functional at Aska, Sonepur, Athagarh, Jeypore, Dhenkanal, Bhadrak & Khurda. By 1963, 12 Fire Stations were already functioning in Odisha. All these Fire Stations were under administrative control of district S.Ps. But to streamline Fire Service administration, the power of administration was transferred to Fire Officer, Odisha vide G.O. No.21790/P dt.10.09.1963.

            After independence & departure of British officers the responsibility of administration was vested with AFO Mohindra Singh who was later promoted to the rank of Fire Officer in the year 1963.

            By 1980 all district Hd. Qrs & sub-divisional Hd. Qrs of Odisha were provided with Fire fighting units. The number of Fire Stations was 75. Though the administration of F.Ss. was looked after by Fire Officer, Odisha but the personnel were governed under Police manual Rule and Odisha Fire Service continued to function as a wing of Odisha Police.

            In the year 1993 Odisha Fire Service Act was enacted on 28th December 1993 & Odisha Fire Service ceased to be a wing of Police. It was in the 1997 after "Madhuban Fire disaster" initiation to have Fire Stations in each block Hd. Qrs. had taken momentum & finally govt. took decision to have Fire Stations in each Block of State. Accordingly, Odisha Fire Services grew rapidly bringing the total number of sanctioned Fire Stations in Odisha to 335.

OFSTI, BBSR:-

            The training programme for F.S. personnel in Odisha was started in the year 1943 under the charge of Deputy Fire Officer Mr. Hetch Blue at sunshine field Cuttack. The training centre was started in the rented accommodation of Sri Bardhaman Seth. But later it was shifted to the present premises of Cuttack F.S. at Buxibazar. But when the administration of F.Ss. went into the hands of district S.Ps, the training of F.S. personnel was shifted to PTC Angul & later to Laxmisagar, Kalpana & finally to present accommodation at Barmunda in the year 1978.

Fire prevention wing:-

            Fire prevention wing was created by govt. in the year 1981 vide govt. order No.5906/P dt.06.02.1981 with one Deputy Fire Officer, one Station Officer, one Asst. Station Officer & one Fireman & 02 ministerial officers. Sri Purna Chandra Samal Dy. Fire Officer was the first Fire Prevention Officer. It started functioning inside the premises of Bhubaneswar F.S. & later shifted to OFSTI, BBSR & finally to its own accommodation inside BBSR F.S. before shifting to F.S. directorate at Cuttack.

Range Fire Officers:-

            Range Fire Offices have its origin to the way back to 1966 when two posts of Asst. Fire Officers were created for Sambalpur & Berhampur vide govt. order No.21323/p dt.02.09.1966. The post of Asst. Fire Officer for Central Range was there since 1955 which was created vide govt. order No.637/p dt.12.01.1955. Later the posts of Deputy Fire Officers along with Range mechanical wings were created for Sambalpur & Berhampur vide govt. order No.1253/CD dt.12.06.1989. The post of Deputy Fire Officer for Central Range was created in the year 1997 vide G.O. No.2127/CD dt.15.12.97. Mr. Pandab Sahu, Mr. Madhaba Das & Mr. R.C. Sahu were officers to first join as Range DFOs. With growth of F.S. organization, Govt. upgraded these Deputy Fire Officer posts into the rank of Fire Officer vide govt. order No.1228/CD dt.25.11.10. So also the post of Fire Officer, Odisha into Chief Fire Officer.