KOLHAPUR: The Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) is all set to install wireless communication sets enabled with GPS (global positioning system) on its firefighting vehicles in a bid to modernize the fire brigade department.
At present, the KMC’s fire brigade department has six firefighting vehicles in as many locations in various parts of the city. The officials of these fire stations communicate with each other through a hotline telephone. However, it is difficult to guide the vehicles to the site of the incident, since there is no proper communication between the control centre and the fire personnel.
“There are six firefighting vehicles on which the GPS-enabled wireless communication sets will be installed. In case of an accident or a blaze, wherein people need to be attended immediately, the wireless communication sets on the vehicles will help find the location so that the nearest fire stations could be informed,” said Prasad Sankpal, disaster management officer in the KMC.
The wireless sets will be useful in case of disasters in old city areas, where entry for heavy vehicles is difficult due to narrow lanes and damage can be severe due to congestion. “In case of congested areas, it is difficult to find the exact location of the incident. In such cases, the GPS technology will help in guiding the firemen and reach the spots quickly,” Sankpal said.
The wireless sets will be connected to certified HAM radio operators. “At present, there are three HAM radio operators in the city. We take their help frequently in case of disasters. The wireless sets will be connected to HAM radios so as to reduce delays in action,” he added.
A single set of GPS-enabled wireless set costs around Rs 20,000. The wireless sets will be procured through funds approved by the state government as part of its disaster management programme. In March this year, the state government had approved Rs 50 lakh for modernizing the fire brigade department and setting up a disaster management cell.
Such GPS technologies have already been employed in the fire brigades of the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh as a part of their disaster management initiatives.