P. Anand and S. Elango, both firefighters with the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services, tested positive for COVID-19 recently. After treatment, the two, along with nine of their colleagues, joined duty on Saturday. From Sunday, they will again be on the road spraying disinfectants to keep the city safe.
Since the lockdown began on March 24, over 7,000 TNFRS personnel have been involved in spraying disinfectants in 30,000 places and over two lakh streets in State. In Chennai alone, the firefighters have disinfected 3,300 places including government hospitals.
A total of 31 firefighters in the State were infected with the virus and out of them, 25 are from Chennai. Eleven of them have recovered and rejoined duty on Saturday.
My wife Priya, a nurse, is eight-months pregnant and she was worried when I tested positive. Now I am perfectly fine and she encourages me to get back to work as I joined the force three years ago to serve the society. On Sunday, I will spraying disinfectants in the Secretariat, said Mr. Anand.
S. Elango, who has put in 13 years of service in TNFRS, said that though his wife was frightened he was waiting to get onto the streets and spray disinfectants. Our station personnel feed the homeless everyday. I am just waiting to join my colleagues in fighting COVID-19, he said.
The 11 firefighters were given a grand welcome at the TNFRS headquarters at Egmore on Saturday. We picked them up in our own vehicles and brought them to the headquarters where a band welcomed them. C.Sylendera Babu, director, TNFRS, gave them a fruit basket and a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kit, said a TNFRS officer.