Six hi-power equipment capable of cutting iron and clearing debris to rescue victims of road accidents and buildings collapse have been procured by Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS).

Described as ‘life saving equipment,' they have been imported from Austria and cost Rs.1.50 crore.

The devices will be fitted to 14 rescue tenders acquired by the TNFRS recently.

Speaking to The Hindu on Tuesday, TNFRS director R. Nataraj said the new set of rescue equipment, including hydraulic cutter, hydraulic spreader and airlifting bags, would be fitted to the 14 rescue tenders that are getting assembled in Pollachi.

“At present, we have five rescue tenders with exclusive rescue equipment. The new additions are hi-capacity equipment with more tensile strength and operated with turbo engines. Six different equipment will be fitted to each fire tender,” he said.

Eleven fire stations across the State, including those in Guindy and Esplanade in Chennai and one each in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Tiruchi and Coimbatore, would get the new rescue tenders.

“Some tenders will be stationed near highways to be used for quicker rescue of victims in case of accidents,” Mr. Nataraj added.

The hydraulic cutters and spreaders are the most utilitarian among the lot as they prove effective in swiftly cutting and opening crushed vehicles where victims may be trapped inside.

On Tuesday morning at the TNFRS director's office in Egmore, Thomas Volkel, a technical expert from the Austrian firm that supplied the safety equipment, provided firsthand training and demo to the fire officers and firemen in whose station limits the rescue tenders are scheduled to be commissioned.

Mr. Nataraj and other senior fire officers were present.

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