In India, National Fire Service Day is a day dedicated to honour the brave firefighters who risk their lives to protect others. On April 14th, fire brigades, departments, industries, institutes, government offices, NGOs, airports, dockyards, and others commemorate the 71 firemen who died in the Bombay Port fire on April 14, 1944. This day is also known as Martyr’s Day to honour the courageous firefighters who died in the line of duty.
The Indian government honours these brave men on National Fire Service Day, and fire service week is observed nationwide from April 14th to April 20th to raise awareness about fire safety. Public interaction events are organized throughout the week to educate people about the importance of fire safety.
The history of National Fire Service Day in India dates back to April 14, 1944, when the British cargo ship “SS Fort Stikine” caught fire on Victoria Dock in Bombay, killing 71 firemen. The ship was carrying millions of litres of lubricating oil, ammunition, detonators, cotton bales, currency notes, gold, and currencies. The ship was damaged due to its 1400 tonnes of explosives, and the entire Victoria Dock was destroyed by fire and explosion after two massive bombs shattered the ship. This disaster claimed the lives of 800-1300 individuals.
To honour the martyrs of this tragic incident, National Fire Service Day is observed in India every year on April 14th. Additionally, fire safety awareness programs are held from March 14th to 20th to educate people about fire safety and to prevent such disasters from happening again.
Various activities can be organized on National Fire Service Day to raise awareness about fire safety. These include displaying the Fire Service Day banner, sending flyers to all firm users with fire safety messages, hosting the flag to honour firemen for their national service, taking a fire pledge/oath, conducting fire drills, providing firefighting training, conducting fire awareness sessions in schools, universities, hospitals, and public areas, conducting fire safety audits, organizing fire speech and essay competitions, and more.
Each year, the Directorate General of Fire Services (DGFS) chooses a theme for National Fire Service Day to highlight fire safety issues and ensure campaign consistency across the country. The theme for National Fire Service Day 2023 is “Fire Safety, Productivity.”
In conclusion, National Fire Service Day in India is a day dedicated to honour the courageous firefighters who risk their lives to protect others. It’s a day to remember the martyrs of the past and to raise awareness about fire safety for a safer future.