THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Thiruvananthapuram district will get three of the 16 new ‘mini’ fire tenders the Fire and Rescue Services has newly added to its fleet. Two will be based at the Fire and Rescue Service HQ at Chenkalchoola and one will be allotted to the Varkala unit.
"Of the two at Chenkalchoola, one will be kept as a spare,’’ Fire and Rescue Service Director (Technical) Sivanandan said. The remaining 13 tenders will be despatched to different units across the State, he said.
The speciality of the new vehicles is that they have pumps capable of spraying water at high pressure - at twice the power of conventional tenders. As much as 1,800 litres of water can be sprayed in a single minute.
"Also, these vehicles are smaller than the ones we have now. The problem we usually face in many parts of Kerala is that our vehicles find it difficult to negotiate the narrow streets,’’ an official at the Chakkai fire station, where the 16 vehicles were displayed on Monday, said.
Another feature of the ‘mini’ fire tender is a stationary pump atop the cabin, which can be used to douse fires which are relatively closer to the vehicle. This is similar to the ‘water cannon’ used by the police to disperse riots.
There is a third feature that makes the new tenders special - the ‘Aska’ lamps which can be used to light a large area around the vehicle. It comes in handy during night operations, Fire and Rescue Service officials said. For instance, Thiruvananthapuram has witnessed a number of major fires in recent months, and almost all of them broke out during the night.
Each vehicle has cost the service around Rs 20 lakh, Sivanandan said. "We purchased the chassis, and the body was fabricated in Hyderabad,’’ he said.
Speaker G Karthikeyan will flag off the vehicles at 11 am on Tuesday.