GIS - October 8, 2012: The safety and protection of the population is one of the major concerns of the government. Massive investments and developments are underway to improve the efficiency of the Fire Services Department (FSD), in addition to a new legislation which is under preparation.
In the wake of the changes in the role and functions of firefighters over time, the Fire Services Act of 1954 will be revised to cover different aspects of life-saving and property-saving actions. These include, in particular, intervention during and after natural calamities such as cyclones and floods, accidental or criminal fires, release of hazardous chemicals and toxic wastes, and road accidents, amongst others. On that score the authorities are working on a draft Fire and Rescue Bill, which will encompass the new scopes of intervention of firefighters in the assignment of their duties.
The prime mission of the FSD is to protect life and property against destruction by fire in Mauritius. It also provides humanitarian services and advice on fire prevention and protection measures, while giving support in rescue operations during national calamities and major accidents.
In this regard, it has invested in the upgrading and development of resources and equipment. In addition to five new tankers to the tune of Rs 60m the FSD has made acquired special ladder mounted with a 32-metre long articulated davit arm for Rs 38m.
But more importantly some Rs 44m are being invested in the construction of a new fire station at Tamarin, which is expected be operational by the end of 2013 and which will service the whole Western region. Furthermore tenders will be launched for the construction of a new fire station in Rose-Belle, while the regions of Montagne-Blanche and Goodlands will be equipped with fire stations by the year 2016. These projects are included in the Public Sector Investment Programme for 2012- 2016. This year, for the first time ever, female firefighters were recruited.
The FSD, which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government, has nine Fire Stations located island wide which operate round the clock. It comprises a Water section, a Training Unit, a mobilising Control Room, a Workshop and a Fire Prevention Section.
The Fire Prevention Section promotes fire safety awareness through talks, lectures, demonstrations and broadcast to the population. In addition to fire safety inspections it provides services like the issue of fire certificate and fire clearances, certificate of registration for storage and handling of flammable substances, and approval of building plans. The section also issues fire certificates and fire clearances, certificates of registration for storage and handling of flammable substances, and approvals of plans of buildings.
On receipt of an emergency call the main Control Unit located at the Headquarters in Port Louis, the nearest available resources are mobilised. The hotline for any emergency is the telephone number 115.