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Fire dept to soon introduce four robots in its fleet

Fire dept to soon introduce four robots in its fleet

Kolkata: The state Fire and Emergency Services department will soon introduce four robots in its fleet for more effective firefighting in the city. The department has already got the necessary nod from the state Finance department for procuring the robots.

"Our firemen face a lot of difficulties in dousing fire, particularly in chemical factories. In a number of cases there have been injuries to firemen during such firefighting operations. We will be soon floating an e-tender for procuring the robots. The robots can be used in highrise fires and in chemical fires," said state Fire and Emergency Services minister Sujit Bose.

The department, which is taking a slew of measures for modernisation, is also introducing fire balls. "The balls will be used to extinguish fire in very narrow and congested places or in locked buildings where physical entry is extremely difficult. We have plans to procure 2,000 such fire balls," Bose added.

A senior official of the department said that such fire balls are used for firefighting in a number of foreign countries and also in some other states in the country, particularly to extinguish fire in locked buildings.

"When a fire ball is thrown into a burning room or place from any small gap, it helps in dousing the fire in ten to fifteen minutes," the official added.

The fire ball, which is smaller in size than a basketball but larger than a cricket ball, contains ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate. However, the balls don't explode if they accidentally drop on the ground. It will burst only when it is thrown into a fire.

The official said that allocation for procurement of modern equipments like robots or fire balls is expected to be made in the state Budget. The plans for procurement of the same have been discussed time and again in a series of meetings that followed after the fire at Bagree Market in September and the recent fire at Traders Assembly building in Gariahat in December. The firefighters had faced a daunting task in extinguishing the fire on both occasions.

The department has also made plans to give basic training in firefighting to students of city schools and various clubs in the city.

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