The vehicle not only deals with fire-fighting but also rescue operations
The cash-strapped Fire & Emergency Services Department got a shot in the arm as a group of NRI software engineers and doctors have decided to donate a technologically superior multi-purpose fire tender.
The vehicle will have a host of features that would enable fire-fighters to not only deal with fire-fighting but also in the rescue operations. The department currently does not have such modern fire-fighting machines.
About 20 techies and doctors, led by Ch.V.V. Prasada Rao and based in New Jersey and California, are spending Rs.60 lakh to purchase the first-of-its-kind fire tender in South India. Usually, a basic fire-fighting vehicle costs about Rs.20-odd lakh.
The hi-tech fire tender equipped with cutters can also be used to tow-away stranded vehicles on the busy stretches during any accidents including heavy vehicles mangled when involved in head-on collisions on highways.
The noble gesture by the NRIs decision to donate a modern fire tender was taken when they had noticed a rickety fire fighting vehicle struggling to reach a fire accident spot in their native Jaggayapet village in Krishna district recently. “We initially planned to donate an ambulance to the government hospital but due to some constraints it could not materialise,” says Prasada Rao’s friend S. Deepak Kumar.
After discussing the issue with officials concerned in Krishna district a few weeks ago, Kumar and his friends submitted a letter to the department in the capital requesting to accept the new fire fighting vehicle. Senior officials later forwarded the offer to the Government which in turn had granted permission.
“We have already given an order to the Ambala Coach Builders Company and it may deliver the vehicle within a few weeks,’ explains Mr. Kumar. The vehicle is to be handed over to the Jaggayapet fire station during a ceremony to be held in January. The government has also appreciated the initiative taken up by these techies and doctors.
Over 290 fire tenders
A senior fire official said the department was attending to several distress calls with over 290 fire tenders.
Of them, 43 have completed 15 years of service. “We are facing several problems with these old vehicles,” he admitted recalling that an old fire tender had, in fact, turned turtle while going to an accident spot in Warangal district two years ago.