Dharwad: On the occasion of 71st Republic Day, five Karnataka state fire and emergency services men were awarded the President's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry in recognition of their spirited service in saving lives, an official said on Sunday.
"For the first time, five Karnataka fire and emergency services officials have been awarded for rescuing 54 people from a building collapse at Dharwad on March 19, 2019," the official told IANS here.
Dharwad is about 430 km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.
The awardees are deputy director J.H. Ravishankar, 3 firemen Naveen Pavadi, Ashok Vadder and H.G. Dharanesha and fireman driver Siddappa Uppar.
"The fire and emergency services personnel work under difficult conditions in unknown terrain, often exposed to toxic gases, chemicals and face difficulty in breathing due to inhalation of smoke in fire-fighting operations," said the official.
Out of 13 fire service medals awarded across the country for gallantry on January 26, 2020, Karnataka bagged the highest -- 5.
"The 5 fire fighters exhibited a high level of competence and saved lives of those trapped in the collapsed structure," the official said.
In a related development, 19 Karnataka police officers were also awarded the President's medals for meritorious service.
"Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala presented the awards to the winners at the R-Day function at the Sam Manekshaw parade ground in the city centre earlier in the day," the official added.
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