C.Vijayasekharan Nair,B.com

Administrative Officer, State Training Center,Tamil Nadu

   Fire Service Department in Tamil Nadu organized in the year 1941 i.e during war period in the name of Air Raid Precaution (A R P).  At that time Madras State consists, the present Tamilnadu, Andhra, Malabar ( now in Kerala) and South Kanara District  (now in Karnataka).  There were three Telephone Operators (Ministerial cadre) in the  A R P on duty round the clock to receive and communicate messages in each units.  All important towns were having this A.R.P controls and the District Collectors were the A.R.P Controller in each District.  After the War, Government have abolished A.R.P and retained Fire fighting squad in the name of Madras Fire Service in all important towns.  Here also the post of three Telephone Operators were continued.  

         In the meanwhile one Mr. Toser ( a Fire Officer from Burmah Fire Brigade ) came to India as an evacue.  The Government entrusted  him to organise Fire Service in Madras State.  He became the Director of Fire Service and under him Fire Officers from London Fire Brigade came to India on deputation.  During this  period also each Fire Station  was having three Telephone Operators on 8 hours shift.   

         There was separate office for the Director of Fire Service (still continuing) and separate Offices for Chief Regional Fire Officers in Regions.  One Under Secretary from Secretariat (N.Jayaram) was posted as P.A to Director of Fire Service.  He has afterwords gone back to secretariat and in his place a superintendent was sanctioned.  A technical P.A. (D.F.S) was also sanctioned. 

         The telephone numbers of all Fire stations were 99. (It may please be recalled that the Burmah Fire Brigade was under Burman Municipality.  There Mr Toser also have to attend all council meetings and also has to answer any questions raised by the Councillors relating to Fire Brigade.  It may be the reasons that he has organised fire service under State Govt. in Madras state to avoid this complications). After war Mr.Toser repatriated back to Burmah Fire Brigade and Mr.Hadingnam became the Director of Fire Service.  The same set up continued.  There was no separate office for Disrict Officers who were then drawing officers.  He was maintaining with one Telephone Operator of head quarters fire station. 

          The Aggrement of European Officers completed on 30.9.49.  The Government ordered Inspector General of Police to took charge and relieve European Officers.  Mr.J.Devasahayam, I.G. has taken over charge.  From 1.10.49 onwards all drawing powers vested to Police Officers.  Divisional Fire Office’s to look after technical matters and conduct inspections etc.  During this period also 3 Telephone Operators continued at Fire stations.  The post one L.D.C were sanctioned to Police Offices to attend works relating to Fire Service. 

         During the year 1954 the Government have reduced the post of Telephone Operators of each Fire stations from 3 to two and night, one L/F was ordered to attend Telephone duty .  Thereby 61 Telephone Operators ousted out from service.  They were subsequently re-enlisted in future vacancies and condoned their previous service.  Andhra Pradesh was separated at this time. 

         From 1.10.59 onwards further reorganisation took place and the powers vested to Police Officers have been delegated to Divisional Fire Officers and other corresponding ranks.  During this period the post of 2 Telephone Operators from each fire station has been abolished and in it’s place one L.D.C post has been sanctioned to each fire station.  Junior most L.D.Cs were transferred to other departments.

         Here they got sanctioned 2 posts of Chief Fire Officers with head quarters at Madurai and Chennai.  They also got sanctioned one U.D.C, 2 L.D.C and one Typist to each Regional Office.  For 2 or 3 Revenue Districts, One Divisional Officer has been sanctioned.  Each Divisional Fire Office has been sanctioned One U.D.C, 1 L.D.C and One Typist. 

          There were 2 Fire Controls in the state, One at Vizag and the other at Chennai.  These Fire controls were manned by Telephone Operators supervised by Head Operators.  During the year somewhere in 1947 the Fire control at Vizag was abolished.  On a representation from those ousted staff, they were absorbed in the Telephone Department.

         Fire Control manned by the the Telephone Operators at Madras were replaced by uniformed personnel headed by Station Officers.’ 

         During the year 1970 a further reorganisation took place.  Here the post of L D C sanctioned to all Fire stations have been abolished and in this place a station writer (Fireman) have been sanctioned.  The L D Cs of all fire stations have been posted to Divisional Officers to strengthen the administrative set up at Divisional level.  All bills relating to fire stations have been ordered to prepare at the respective Divisional Offices.  The staff sanctioned were quite insufficient to prepare all bills and to maintain the respective registers etc.   So there were occassions that due to delay in payment of telephone bills, some telephone lines disconnected.   

         Gradually, a system of utilising the services of a Station writer was started in the Divisional Offices. 

         Now, the Department is on the verge of computerisation. Already, computers have been provided to the Divisional Offices, and the networking of the Directorate is on the anvil.  

         Tamil Nadu is slowly emerging as a highly professional fire-fighting and rescue force. At this juncture it is the duty of all the ministerial staff to rise up to our role, and bring glory to our department. We must be thoroughly familiar with the rules and procedures. We must work to maintain the high traditions of our department and further strengthen them.