Saturday, April 1

West Bengal to procure robots to fight along with firemen in critical cases

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The state fire department will soon have robots in its squad to flight alongside firemen. It is in an advanced stage of acquisition of four such robots, which will be used in situations like extreme heat, suffocating smoke and possibility of explosion. With this addition, Bengal will be the first fighting unit in the eastern region to have robots.

If everything goes according to the plan, the robots will be pressed into service in this March itself. Sources said these robots will help in fighting devastating chemical fire like Bagri Market with much greater efficacy.

“Since our chief minister Mamata Banerjee accorded highest importance in safeguarding people’s life and property, we are trying fast to complete the tender procedure and acquire them. These robots will certainly be a game-changer in fire-fighting. Bengal will be the first fire-brigade in the eastern region to attain this level of modernisation,” said Sujit Bose, minister of state for fire and emergency services (independent charge).

The decision of acquiring robot was taken after a delayed success in containing the fire at Bagri Market. It was induced by chemicals stockpiled by traders and also many places remained inaccessible because of the intense heat and toxic fume. The fire fighters fought an unequal battle to contain he fire.

“In such cases, robots will be an ideal solution. They have inbuilt motors to throw water or foam at such a speed that even a chemical fire can be put out really fast. We will not only save lives of firefighters, but will also help in dousing the flames in shortest possible time,” said Jag Mohan, director general, fire service.

These robots are designed to fight the most hazardous fires. Made with fire and heat-resistant materials, these robots are remote controlled. “They can reach the seat of the fire and extinguish it most effectively,” said additional director general Niladri Chakraborty.

Since these robots are fitted with sensors and has ability to capture thermal imagery, it will give us live report of actual intensity and extent of the fire. This would also help us to adopt a correct firefighting strategy. They can carry out critical tasks of extinguishing systems in buildings and automatically move to the source of fire to carry out the initial fire extinguishing process until the fire fighters reach the spot.

The gadgets can also be used to carry out awareness drives in malls. The robot will be subject to a trial period of three months and then evaluated to determine its technical and operational efficiency, said an officer.


Source: Times of India

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