KOCHI: Fire fighting and rescue in high-rises are soon going to be easier with the induction of Kerala’s first ‘Aerial Hydraulic Platform’ in Kochi on Saturday. It was inducted into BPCL Kochi Refinery’s fire and rescue fleet, which can be pressed into service anywhere in the city if the situation requires so, officials said.
The state-of-the-art equipment was inaugurated by Chief Secretary Tom Jose at a function held at the Main Fire Station of Kochi Refinery in the presence of S Suhas IAS, Ernakulam District Collector, and Prasad K Panicker, executive director, Kochi Refinery, BPCL. Jayesh Shah, executive director (HR), P Murali Madhavan, executive director (Refinery Operations), chief general managers Babu Joseph, Subramoni Iyer and Suresh John were also present.
This equipment costing Rs 8 crore has multi-faceted uses especially in fire-fighting and rescue operations at elevated locations such as process columns, vessels, heaters, high-rise buildings and technological structures in the refinery. This highly sophisticated equipment is built by Bronto Skylift, Finland - a trusted global supplier of truck-mounted aerial platforms.
The working platform can carry up to five persons and can reach a height of 44 m. It has a spiral rescue chute for evacuating people trapped at high elevations. The safety features include sensors and interlocks which ensure 100 per cent safe operation at all times. The high-pressure MIXMATIC firefighting system can generate 4,800 litres per minute of fire-fighting foam for containing fires on oil tankers.
After inaugurating the operation of the platform, Jose went up the lift on the platform along with Suhas and Panicker. He later witnessed a rescue drill in which several people were evacuated through the spiral rescue chute.
“This facility further enhances the safety preparedness of Kochi Refinery which is progressively upgrading its safety infrastructure. The unique, specialised fleet of fire and rescue vehicles in the refinery today is capable of tackling all emergencies such as hydrocarbon fire, flammable and toxic gas leaks, chemical emergencies, technical rescue, high-rise building fire, landslides, earthquakes, etc. The specialised equipment includes among others the advanced Hazardous Material Emergency and Rescue Vehicle (HAZMAT ERV) imported from Austria housing more than 300 types of rescue equipment which is a one of its kind in the country. As a responsible corporate, BPCL Kochi Refinery has been supporting the district administration in handling major fires whenever required” said Panicker during the function.