SLN Dockyard Fire Service Celebrates 60th Anniversary (1958-2018)
Sri Lanka Navy Fire Service, now termed as Dockyard Fire Service, proudly celebrated its 60th anniversary on 1st June 2018. The Commander Eastern Naval Area, Rear Admiral Niraja Attygalle graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. The celebration included an exhibition displaying the evolution of fire service, fire demonstrations and an appreciation of the service of retired fire department personnel. The Deputy Area Commander, Commodore Nandana Jayarathne, flag rank officers and a cross-section of senior officers in the area attended the function. Thirty two retired civilian fire service personnel headed by Mr. H Ranawana, the last civilian Fire Chief and two retired Fire Chiefs from the services arrived at the Dockyard, Trincomalee to participate in the event, as special invitees.
Dockyard Fire Service has a long history in line with the history of the Naval Dockyard Trincomalee. The Royal Navy presence in the Dockyard came to an end in 15th October 1957, when the Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike formally took over the Naval Dockyard from the British Royal Navy. The Dockyard was taken over by the Royal Ceylon Navy and became the home port for its newly established fleet. On 1st June 1958, Royal Ceylon Navy acquired Dockyard Fire Service and Mr. WR Nathanias was appointed as the Chief Fire Officer, with 45 civilian firemen.
Due to the security concerns and requirement of increasing the strength of the fire service in 2005 it was acquired by a crew of Sri Lanka Navy thus becoming a service rendered by Uniformed Naval Personnel. At present the Dockyard Fire Service is comprised of 01 officer performing the duty as Officer in Charge and 53 sailors under his command.
The anniversary celebration felicitated the retired Civilian Firemen and the opportunity helped transfer of their knowledge bridging two generations. Most of these retired firemen had not visited the Naval Dockyard since their retirement and the occasion was a very memorable one for them as well as the Sri Lanka Navy.