Mumbai Fire Brigade Revises SOP and Adds New ‘Stop’ Category for Minor Incidents

Mumbai Fire Brigade Revises SOP and Adds New ‘Stop’ Category for Minor Incidents

The Mumbai Fire Brigade has revised its standard operating procedures or SOPs to use its existing resources better while also improving firefighting operations in the city’s limits. As per the new SOP, a total of six categories for mobilisation of firefighting vehicles and staff has been setup. The relevant category will be chosen based on the seriousness of the incident. 

The SOP has been reviewed and updated for the first time since it was implemented in 2016 by the Mumbai Fire Brigade following the death of four senior officers while attending a fire incident.

In terms of the changes, the fire brigade has added an additional level to measure the gravity of the fire incident. This level or category will be known as ‘STOP’ and is also known as a minor emergency call. 

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The new SOP states that after a ‘STOP’ call, the next step will be ‘Level 1’ which indicates a small emergency call. This is followed by Level 2 for medium emergency calls, Level 3 for major emergency calls, Level 4 for serious emergency calls, and Level 5 for a brigade call.

A STOP call will be attended by the Station Officer (SO) who will also be the Incident Command Officer (ICO). Meanwhile, Level 1 incidents will be handled by the Assistant Divisional Fire Officer (ADFO) who will be the ICO for the call. 

Level 2 calls will be managed by the Divisional Fire Officer (DFO), while level 3 calls will go to the Deputy Chief Fire Officer. Level 4 calls will require the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) whereas a serious brigade call will involve the Additional Municipal Commissioner of the region as well as the Municipal Commissioner along with the Chief Fire Officer.

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“During the review of the SOP, we have realised that the ADFO was not given responsibility of the ICO and from the station officer, the next ICO was a DFO. The revision in SOP will help in managing resources like fire engines, water tankers and personnel,” a senior fire official said.

Existing data shows that there are a total of 35 fire stations and 17 beat stations across Mumbai. Around 2,769 firefighters attend to the city’s population of 1.25 crores. Moreover, a recent RTI application by activist Anil Galgali found that around 25% of the jobs at the Fire Brigade are still vacant. 

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