Port Blair, April 14: Together with the rest of the country, the A&N Police Fire Service is observing the Fire Service Week from 14th to 20th April this year. The Theme for this year is “Fire is Fire, Friend or Foe, We Decide.".

The Fire Service Week is organized every year in memory of a major fire incident that occurred on 14th April 1944, at "Victoria Harbour" in Mumbai, in which 336 persons died and 1040 were injured. Out of 336 who died, 68 were Officers and Jawans of Mumbai Fire Brigade. The tragedy occurred when a ship namely "SS FORT STRIKINE" loaded with explosive materials exploded while berthing at Jetty causing fire in several other vessels berthed in the wharf. To commemorate the act of bravery of the officers and men of Mumbai Fire Brigade who lost their lives during the fire fighting operation, April 14th is celebrated as Fire Service Day. A week long programme has been chalked out by this Unit, which starts with a Commemoration Day Parade on 14th April followed by publicity & educational campaign through banners, educational pamphlets, short video screening, Lectures and Demonstrations at various Institutions including Village Community Centers, Schools etc. The programme also includes inspection of industrial premises, hospitals, hotels and resorts, in order to make them aware of fire safety issues & requirements.

The main function on the Fire Service Day was held on 14/04/2013 at 0700 hrs. at Fire Service HQ Port Blair. Two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to those Fire Service personnel who had laid their lives for ensuring fire safety of our countrymen all over the nation. Soon after the parade, Fleet March of Fire Vehicles was taken out in and around Port Blair town. Similar programme are also being arranged in Fire Stations located in far flung Islands. The A & N Police Fire Service is committed to generate public awareness about Fire Prevention & Control by conducting special campaigns in densely populated areas, industrial establishments, hospitals, hotels and resorts during the Fire Service Week.