COIMBATORE:The onset of the monsoon has put a tremendous strain on the resources of the Fire and Rescue personnel across the western region of Tamil Nadu, with around 150 calls being attended to by the respective departments in Coimbatore, the Nilgris, Namakkal and Erode over the last few days.
As a matter of preparations for future contingencies, various districts in the region are to receive concrete cutting machines and heavy-duty power-saws. M Shahul Hameed, Joint Director, Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (Western Region), said that the four fire stations in the Nilgris would get one concrete cutting machine and one power-saw each. The tools would be used in tandem with the quick response vehicles which the stations in the district already have at their disposal.
Fire stations in Erode, Namakkal, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Tirupur and Dindigul would also receive concrete cutting machines, while four power-saws will be procured for stations in Coimbatore, and one each for Erode, Tirupur, Salem and Krishnagiri districts.
The power-saws in Coimbatore had been purchased with funds from the Municipal Administration.
The recent rains had triggered many distress calls to the fire department in the region. However, due to the effective work of the firemen, there had been no loss of lives arising out of the failure of the rescuing firemen. The new equipment is expected to increase the efficacy of the department as a whole.
The concrete cutting machines can be used to dig through piles of concrete. "It can be used to tunnel through piles of rubble in case a building collapses, and to extract and rescue trapped persons," said M Shahul Hameed. Similarly, the power-saws can be used to quickly cut huge tree trunks and ensure that blocked roads are cleared immediately.
The fire department had used the chain-saw to clear the busy stretch of road between the Coimbatore Junction and the District Collectorate, when a large tree fell on the road a few days ago.
Some of the districts, including Coimbatore, already have a heavy-duty power saw and the concrete cutting machine in their arsenal. The new machines would be an additional bonus to the existing tools with the department.