Two firefighters of the Delhi Fire Service will be awarded for their meritorious service by the President of India on the 75th Independence Day, said officials Sunday. Assistant Divisional Officer Somvir Singh and Leading Fireman Nirmal Singh, on account of having worked on several complex projects and incidents over the years, will be awarded for their bravery.
Somvir (49) has been working with the DFS for more than 18 years and framed the fire safety and management plan for the Commonwealth Games in 2010. He was a member of the delegation sent to the Fire Service College in Marsh, the United Kingdom for a study and research programme under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Atul Garg, DFS Chief, said, “Somvir has not only worked at major fire spots but also brought many technologies and administrative changes to the department. He was the one who initiated the GPS technology at the DFS. Two years back, he attended major fire incidents during the anti-CAA/NRC protests and Northeast Delhi riots.”
In 2020, as riots broke out in Northeast Delhi and several rioters set vehicles and shops on fire, Somvir and his team responded to hundreds of calls and rushed to the areas in time. Despite the risk involved, Somvir managed his teams and attended to most of the calls.
“He was instrumental in setting up fire posts during the pandemic outside hospitals and other parts of the city. He even worked at the farmers’ protest at Delhi’s borders and set up fire tenders to attend to fire calls,” said Garg.
Somvir said he has toiled in factory fires, chemical leaks, hotel fires and residential fires. He has sustained multiple injuries from the incidents but continues to serve the public.
The department said Nirmal, a 54-year-old fireman, is one of the best firefighters and rescuers at DFS. In his 26-year-long career, Nirmal has attended to thousands of fire calls successfully and rescued hundreds of people.
One of his exemplary works is his rescue work at Uphaar Cinema, where in 1997, a fire broke out inside the cinema hall while a movie was being screened. More than 55 people died. Officials said Nirmal was part of the team that worked for hours to douse the fire and rescue the victims.
“He has also responded to several calls from the Delhi airport, one in a Maruti showroom in Okhla and a major factory fire in Mayapuri. In 2016, a fire broke out at Vishnu Garden, and Nirmal and his team saved all nine people who were trapped in the building. He was awarded a Class-1 commendation certificate for his rescue work,” added Garg.
Nirmal is known for rescue work and working on complex calls with ease. He is posted in West Delhi and still takes on 4-5 fire calls a day.