Thursday, June 25, 2009

Smaller Firefighting Vehicles for 2010 Games

Smaller Firefighting Vehicles for 2010 GamesAfter the introduction of motorbikes fitted with fire extinguishers in April, the Delhi Fire Service is now planning to introduce small cars and jeeps fitted with firefighting equipment that will be used for tackling emergency situations during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

As per the authorities, the idea behind using smaller vehicles is to cut down on the time taken by a fire tender to reach its destination. Officials believe smaller vehicles will result in "increasing operational capabilities" of the department and save precious time, as it will allow easier movement even during heavy traffic situations during the Games.

Even when introducing the motorbikes, officials had said the main purpose was to "reduce response time" by deploying them in fire-prone, congested areas like Chandni Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Old Delhi and Trans-Yamuna areas.

In May 1999, 57 people died in a fire that broke out in a chemical market in the congested Lal Kuan area - one of the biggest fire calamities witnessed in the Capital. A similar mishap occurred at Swadeshi Market in Sadar Bazar in December 2001.

Fire officials have pointed out that a primary reason for the magnitude and high casualty rate witnessed in these incidents is the inability of bigger fire tenders to reach the spots in time.

"The department is considering using smaller vehicles, like the Maruti Gypsy or small vans, instead of the regular tenders for tackling untoward incidents at or near Games venues," said Chief Fire Officer R C Sharma. "We will take another month or so to take a final decision on the issue," he said.