In a bid to boost fitness within the force, the Fire and Rescue Services Department has opened a gym in Villupuram to help firefighters attached to 14 fire stations in Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts remain physically fit for the task.
The gym was set up by Robin Castro, District Fire Officer of Villupuram district. A 2019-batch officer, Mr. Castro has introduced a schedule for all the 145 firefighters in Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts to remain physically and mentally fit.
Inspired by the Director General of Police (DGP) of the Fire and Rescue Services Department, C. Sylendra Babu, a fitness enthusiast, Mr. Castro has roped in enthusiastic firefighters, including commandoes attached to the force, to make time for an hour of practice daily before resuming work.
On an average, firemen in the two districts attend to 130 distress calls besides executing rescue operations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the personnel are also engaged in the decontamination of public places under the civic bodies.
“Such a fitness programme was necessary to not only keep the force fit but also reduce their stress levels. This has helped them improve their performance,” he said.
As part of their training, the commandos have to run for 5 km daily, followed by weight training for 20 minutes, rope training and tyre exercises.
The team, led by Mr. Castro, also goes cycling during the weekends, covering a minimum of 100 km.
P. Sivagurunathan, leading fireman attached to the Villupuram Fire Station, said that the physical training has been an integral part of his daily routine.
“I make it a point to exercise at the gym here daily for one-and-a-half hours. This has not only helped me build muscles but also improve my overall well-being and productivity,” he said.
Mr. Castro said that the facilities for weight training have been introduced for firemen in all the 14 stations in the two districts.