In a first, the Mumbai fire brigade has recruited 97 women from rural areas in the state, as part of their recruitment drive that took in close to 145 aspirants.
The brigade which earlier had only 18 women, all of whom operated from the Byculla headquarters, will now see the extended women force spread out over 34 stations in the city.
Currently undergoing training at the regional command centre in Wadala, the women are bound by their common desire for public service.
Speaking to the Times of India's Richa Pinto, Nashik-based Smita Daware revealed that she was initially keen on entering the police services. The fire services' walk-in interview however lured Daware to apply and appear for the other tests.
Since it was a walk-in interview, I quickly filled up the form online and came for other tests.As told to TOI
Sindhudurg's Pooja Naik too had her heart set on the IPS, but when her teacher told her about the fire brigade's opening, she gave it a shot and landed a job.
Kabita Gurule had ambitions of joining the Army, but was not able to get though. "However, I heard about this opening and decided to apply as I was keen on getting into a service where I could serve my countrymen," she was quoted as saying.
The women are now training in the 'smoke apparatus gallery' – which mimics an actual fire situation.
We started training them in June and plan to complete the exercise by the month-end, after which they will be assessed. Once this is done, they will get a 14-day break following which they must join the service.A fire official to TOI
Meanwhile, the chief fire officer P Rahangdale is awed by the enthusiasm shewn by the new recruits. “It is good to see the enthusiasm in almost all these women and their readiness to take on the toughest tasks they are being trained to face,” he told the daily.
The Mumbai fire brigade has 774 vacancies at the moment, which are being filled in batches.