The Telegraph
Saturday , June 14 , 2014
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Bike-mounted gadgets for firefighters

Guwahati, June 13: The Fire and Emergency Services, Assam, today inducted 10 motorbike-mounted fire-fighting systems for quick response at places where conventional fire engines cannot reach.

The motorcycles equipped with compact water mist generating system and first-aid box were formally inducted by the additional director-general of police-cum-director of the organisation, Umesh Kumar, at a function held at its headquarters in Panbazar here.

Each bike has two fire extinguishers, containing nine litres of water mist and compressed air foam. Kumar said four more such motorcycles would be added to the fleet shortly.

Some other sophisticated equipment like inflatable emergency lighting system, breathing apparatus sets, high-pressure breathing air compressor machine, fire entry suits and smoke exhausters, were also inducted into the agency at the function. The equipment will be used for search and rescue.

“Negotiating traffic snarls and navigating through narrow lanes increases our response time while attending fire calls. The motorcycles that can carry two firemen can reach the spot quickly and start the fire-fighting operation,” an official of the organisation said.

“These bikes will be of great use for small fires in congested areas. In case of bigger fires, they can start the preliminary work and control the blaze to some extent till the bigger tenders arrive,” he added.

One motorcycle each will be sent to Silchar, Dhubri, Nagaon, Jorhat and Tinsukia, while the rest will be used here. The source said the fire entry suits and breathing apparatus sets will enable fire-fighters to stay safe while working in high-temperature zones filled with thick smoke for a long time.

He said the inflatable emergency lighting system would help them carry out search and rescue operations after dark. These procurements made by the agency, which was earlier known as the State Fire Service Organisation (SFSO), was part of its modernisation drive. The state government had brought amendments to the Assam Fire Services Act, 1985, in 2012 to rename the SFSO and make it the nodal agency and the first authority to respond to all kinds of disasters, both natural and man-made.

Following the amendments, the organisation has become the first respondent for carrying out relief and rescue operations in emergency situations like earthquakes, landslides, floods and erosion, drought, mishaps, bomb explosions, major accidents and hostage situations, besides its primary work of fire-fighting.

As part of its new mandate, the organisation has raised two companies of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). Umesh Kumar said they have submitted a proposal to the government to raise another company of SDRF personnel.

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