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Old fire tenders fail to reach on time

M. Srinivas
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Frequent breakdowns are said to be the main cause

Challenging task:On several occasions, fire-fighters have struggled to reach the spot on time due to frequent breakdowns of old fire tenders.
Challenging task:On several occasions, fire-fighters have struggled to reach the spot on time due to frequent breakdowns of old fire tenders.

They are the first to respond and reach any fire accident but if you thought your life and property are in safe hands in case of an emergency from fire mishap, think twice.

Close to 88 fire tenders, out of a total of about 250, have completed their prescribed life span but are still used by the Andhra Pradesh Fire Services Department to deal with fire-fighting operations. Some of them have been used for more than 20 years. In a service where reaction time is of utmost importance making a difference between life and death, these obsolete vehicles are posing danger in the preparedness of fire services.

Fire-fighters are struggling to reach the spot on time owing to frequent breakdown of these fire vehicles.

In an earlier incident in Warangal district, a 15-year-old fire tender turned turtle while rushing towards a commercial building where a major fire broke out. The incident happened when the driver applied brakes suddenly. Luckily, the firemen had a narrow escape and the driver suffered a minor fracture on his leg, officials recalled.

Similar breakdown of fire vehicles were also reported earlier at Kurnool and Prakasam districts. Fire-fighters had to face the wrath of the people for failing to come to the accident spot on time, officials said.

The Transport Department rules stipulate that any vehicle which completed 15 years of service should not be employed for any major operation.

Fitness certificates

In several districts, the Motor Vehicle Inspectors (MVIs) are refusing to issue fitness certificates. “We persuade MVIs saying that these vehicles are being used for the sake of public purpose,” an official explained, adding that the firemen were facing financial problems to repair these vehicles in some places. There are 252 fire stations, including 13 in the GHMC limits.

Senior officials, however, said that the old vehicles would soon be replaced with new fire tenders as the government has sanctioned over Rs.17 crore for procuring vehicles and other equipment such as life jackets, breathing operating sets, portable extinguishers and dragon lights among others.

GHMC Commissioner M.T. Krishna Babu, in a recent workshop on fire safety in hospitals and nursing homes, said that Rs.7.5 crore would be released for procurement of the equipment.


  • Of the total 250 fire tenders, 88 have completed their prescribed life span but are still in use

  • According to officials, State sanctions over Rs.17 cr. for purchasing vehicles, other equipment



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