Mumbai firefighters to get 2 extra snorkels to fight high rise fires

Following an alarming fire in the city, the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) will soon have two more snorkels in their arsenal to tackle fires in high-rise buildings. The 70m and 52m snorkels will be purchased in Finland; they will be added to the MFB fleet by the end of this month.

According to the BMC, any building with a height of 30 meters (nine stories) can be classified as a skyscraper. There are more than 8,000 high-rise buildings in the city, where carrying out firefighting and rescue operations is always cumbersome and difficult. In recent years, several buildings over 70 meters have been erected in the city. Also, it is seen that the fire fighting equipment in many high rise buildings is not functional. Thus, the snorkel gives an advantage while saving lives in the event of a fire or any other disaster.

The Mumbai Fire Department has 20 aerial ladders, turntable ladders and hydraulic platforms. Its fleet consists of 27mt, 37mt, 55mt, 70mt, 81mt and 90mt snorkels. The 90 meter snorkel was added to the MFB fleet in 2015 and can scale up to 30 floors; it has a turntable ladder and elevated water pumps to conduct firefighting and rescue operations.

“Over the past few years, fires in high-rise buildings have increased, so we need more snorkels of this type in our fleet,” a fire official said. The new 70 meter snorkel can extend up to 21 floors.

MFB Fire Chief Hemant Parab said, “We have 90m and 81m snorkels at Borivali Command Center, 30m at Vikhroli and 37m at Marol. We are upgrading the Fire Command Centers. Consequently, after examination, we will decide on the placement of these two snorkels, where they are most needed.

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Posted: Wednesday May 18th 2022, 00:30 IST