BALCO’s Firefighters: Going Above and Beyond Fire Safety

29th October 2023

  • On World Stroke Day, the company honors the lifesaving efforts of BALCO’s firefighters

As the world prepares to observe World Stroke Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about stroke prevention and treatment, we turn our attention to the extraordinary firefighters of BALCO (Bharat Aluminium Company Limited). Although the connection between the two may not seem immediately obvious, they represent a remarkable and intrinsic connection, and demonstrate BALCO’s unwavering commitment to the larger community they serve.

Firefighters are often associated with extinguishing flames and rescuing people from burning buildings, but their roles go beyond that. They are also the first responders equipped with the extensive skills and knowledge that are a must to handle various medical emergencies, including strokes. In an emergency, time is of the essence, and firefighters are trained to act swiftly and decisively. BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer, houses a dedicated team of firefighters who often go above and beyond their call of duty to serve. These brave individuals work not only to protect the plant but to extend their support to the surrounding communities.

Manoj Yadav, Senior Shift in-Charge at BALCO, recalls an important incident in his career as a fire fighter, says, “Some time back at the Uslapur Railway Station, I faced an unexpected event. An elderly man, caught in the grip of a sudden loss of consciousness, faced a life-threatening situation. I wasn’t on duty at that time, but as a firefighter, I couldn’t simply stand by. I sprang into action, using my extensive training to perform CPR. Being a certified CPR and Fire Aid Instructor, this experience was a poignant reminder of the vital role we play as firefighters. It’s not just about combating flames; it’s about being prepared to respond to any emergency, to be a beacon of hope when life hangs by a thread.”

Talking about the passion for his job, Manoj adds, “Helping someone in a crisis, whether it’s a fire or a health emergency, is the most rewarding aspect of my job. Every life saved is a testament to our commitment to serving the community.”

Incidents like this one are not isolated; they are a testament to the dedication of the BALCO Fire Department to community well-being. They undergo multiple training courses that keep them up to date with the latest techniques and approaches in the field. These training sessions encompass a wide array of skills, from advanced fire suppression methods to cutting-edge medical response techniques.

In an ever-evolving landscape, staying informed about the most recent advances is paramount. This knowledge is not just kept within the fire department’s ranks; it is shared with the community through outreach programs. These initiatives aim to foster a culture of preparedness among the residents. When every individual becomes equipped with the know-how to respond to emergencies, the entire community becomes a safer place.

The BALCO Fire Department’s approach proactively involves shaping a community where every person, regardless of their background or profession, has the potential to be a lifesaver. This dedication to staying current with the latest tools and techniques is at the heart of their mission to protect and serve.

Highlighting the fire-safety culture of BALCO, Mr. Pitambar Majhi, Fire Department, BALCO said, “Having witnessed the aftermath and analysis of numerous fire incidents during my career as a firefighter, it’s become painfully clear that ignorance often fans the flames of tragedy. We’ve seen how a lack of awareness and preparation can devastate lives and communities. At BALCO, Prevention is our cornerstone; it’s the best way to avoid these heart-wrenching incidents. By conducting training sessions in government schools and communities, we aim to spread knowledge that can save lives. Regularly checking fire equipment across the plant and township is a crucial part of our mission to ensure safety. We believe that with education and proactive measures, we can significantly reduce the risk of fires and create a safer environment for all. It’s not just about fighting fires but, more importantly, preventing them.”

The intricate connection between firefighting and stroke response unfolds, showcasing not only the technical prowess of BALCO Fire Department but a holistic approach to community well-being. BALCO’s commitment to community well-being transcends various fields, including health, education, advanced farming practices, women empowerment, and much more. The holistic development of the community is at the core of the company’s beliefs. Through a myriad of community development programs, BALCO reaches out to more than 1.5 lakh people in its operational vicinity to bring about positive change.

On World Stroke Day, as we emphasize the importance of stroke prevention and timely response, let us not forget the unsung heroes of BALCO. With their unwavering commitment to the community, they exemplify the spirit of mutual aid, and show that the heart of a hero beats not only with courage but also with compassion and steadfast commitment to serving society at large.

About Vedanta Limited:

Vedanta Limited, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Limited, is one of the world’s leading Oil & Gas and Metals company with significant operations in Oil & Gas, Zinc, Lead, Silver, Copper, Iron Ore, Steel, and Aluminium & Power across India, South Africa and Namibia. For two decades, Vedanta has been contributing significantly to nation building. Governance and sustainable development are at the core of Vedanta's strategy, with a strong focus on health, safety, and environment. Vedanta has put in place a comprehensive framework to be the ESG leader in the natural resources sector. Vedanta is committed to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050 or sooner and has pledged $5 billion over the next 10 years to accelerate the transition to net zero operations. Giving back is in the DNA of Vedanta, which is focused on enhancing the lives of local communities. The company’s flagship social impact program, Nand Ghars, have been set up as model anganwadis focused on eradicating child malnutrition, providing education, healthcare, and empowering women with skill development. Under the aegis of the Anil Agarwal Foundation, the umbrella entity for Vedanta’s social initiatives, the Vedanta group has pledged Rs 5000 crore over the next five years on social impact programmes with a thrust on nutrition, women & child development, healthcare, animal welfare, and grass-root level sports. Vedanta and the group companies have been featured in Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and was conferred Frost & Sullivan Sustainability Awards 2020, Golden Peacock Award for excellence in Corporate Governance 2022 and certified as a Great Place to Work 2022. Vedanta Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange.

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About Vedanta Aluminium Business:

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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