Dhaka is still reeling from the shock of devastating fires that gorged across the city, from north to south, west to east. Korail slum in Gulshan, Chawkbazar in Old Dhaka, Mirpur - one after another spots were devoured, claiming lives and destroying means of livelihood for countless families. The city dwellers was still recovering from shock when FR Tower in Banani was engulfed in yet another blaze taking lives of 27 people. No sooner the last flame was doused in FR Tower, than a fire ravaged DNCC market in Gulshan. Amidst the scenes of inexplicable human misery and destruction, triumphed the fearless human beings who plunged themselves into saving lives from the traps of blazing fire.
They are the fire-fighters of the directorate of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence. The army of its trained personnel rush themselves in at any spot at the call of emergency at any hour of the day. In recent times the nation time and again watched them to walk, climb, crawl, creep, whichever way possible, to reach the people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings or in raging flames and rescue them. Risking their own lives, our firemen saved lives. The truth which their families and children live every day is that they can lose their loving ones any day. Fire-fighters live the brave truth - lay your life to save other lives. Triumph of humanity is what they live for.
To pay respect and gratitude to our fearless heroes BRAC organised a reception event today on Thursday (11 April 2019) at the auditorium of the Institution of Diploma Engineers at Kakrail in the capital. The event began at 3.30 in the afternoon and had honourable guests Dhaka North City mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Fire Service and Civil Defence director-general Brigadier General Md Sazzad Hussain and director (operation and maintenance) Major AKM Shakil Newaz. The event was organised with assistance from BRAC Bank, edotco Bangladesh, Bkash, IPDC Finance, BRAC Net, Guardian Life Insurance, BRAC IT Services and Ekattor TV.
At the programme, a cheque of Tk 4 lakh was handed over from BRAC to the family of Sohel Rana who died after severely injured during his work at the FR Tower fire rescue. A donation of Tk 3 lakh was also made to the Fire Service and Civil Defence trust fund. Survivors of different fire incidents gave bouquet and certificates of honour to 10 fire-fighters who are, Sohagchandra Karmakar, Bishnupada Mistry, Zakir Hossain, Kazi Sohag, Shahidul Islam, Jewel Mahmud, Mafizul Islam, Alamgir Hossain, Nazir Hossain and Moktar Hossain.
DNCC mayor Md Atiqul Islam said, "No more we want to see these helpless deaths. The builders of multi-storied big buildings must keep all the arrangements to tackle fire hazards. Otherwise, they will face stern punishment."
Brigadier General Md Sazzad Hussain thanked BRAC for this initiative and said, "This recognition will further boost our morale. On this occasion, however, our request to the nation will be: Please do not crowd the scene of the hazard and let our fire-fighters and rescuers work without hindrance. It is the general public who have to come forward to ensure this. With your proper assistance we will be able to reduce the loss of both lives and property."
A number of important setbacks were identified in the discussion at the programme including, delay in reaching information to the proper authority, crowds hindering rescue work, absence of fire hydrants or source of water, shortage of fire extinguishing equipment in multi-storeyed buildings, lack of training of personnel, and absence of fire exits in buildings.