When the fire control room gets calls about slums or vehicles catching fire,the biggest challenge is not just reaching the place quickly but also accessibility to the area given the narrow city lanes.
Addressing this crucial issue,the Pune fire brigade has inducted into its fleet six firefighting motorbikes equipped with compact water mist generating system for speedy fire control with life-saving equipment like first aid box and gel blankets for burns.
“Navigating through the narrow lanes increases our response time when we attend calls from slum areas and old residential areas with very less space between two buildings,” says chief fire officer Prashant Ranpise. “The bike that can carry two firemen can reach the spot at the earliest and start the rescue operations. Most of the times,roads leading to slums are very narrow. These bikes will be of great use for small fires in these areas. For bigger fires there is no alternative for bigger tenders,” he added.
The Royal Enfield Bullets are equipped with an entire firefighting assembly with each unit costing about Rs 7 lakh.
“The bike has two 10-litre tanks with nine parts water and one part foam. Along with an air cylinder,this equipment turns water into very small particles. This multiples the extinguishing efficiency of water. As it has foam,it can also stop oil fires. This powerful water jet can continue to 23 seconds at a stretch. The air cylinder then has to be replaced,” a representative of company from whom the bikes were purchased,said. The bike has slots for four air cylinders.
The mist generators can also be detached from the bikes and can be carried as backpacks.
Firefighter Navnath Waikar said,”These bikes also have first aid kits. In slum areas many times small children and old people sustain injuries.”
Ranpise said,”There is a constant rise in the number of cases in which bikes,cars or trucks catch fire. Our firefighter can reach the spot quickly and manage the situation. He added that the bike has a loud siren and revolving lights for making its way in the traffic and the department plans to get more such bikes soon to give one unit to each of the 11 fire stations.”