Mumbai: Fire brigade to go hi-tech soon

  • Priyanka Thirumurthy, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 31, 2014 21:56 IST

With a little help from students of IIT-Bombay, the Mumbai fire brigade department will soon be able to develop a software which will help track the location you are calling from.

The system will be used to send help to the spot immediately, so that the response time is reduced.

The number of calls received by the fire brigade went up from 4,541 in 2013 to 4,595 in 2014.

However, the average response time remains 10 minutes in Mumbai and 20 minutes in the suburbs. People have often complained of delay in response by fire officials, which the officials attribute to the miscommunication by the control room and inability in locating the affected building. To tackle these problems, a computerised control system and global positioning system (GPS) was proposed last year.

“We want to create an Integrated Command Control Program, where calls from the control room to a fire station are automated. This will reduce the margin of human error. We have roped in students from IIT-B for the project,” said PS Rahangalde, deputy fire officer.

The department will install GPS in fire engines to help operators take the shortest and least-congested route. “Although it was proposed last year, there were a lot of hurdles. Currently, traffic is our biggest challenge and our response time depends on it. These systems will help us monitor these aspects more efficiently,” said SG Amin, deputy fire officer.

The department also plans to introduce an online system to inspect and penalise buildings, which do not follow fire safety norms. “We will create an online database of buildings in the city and electronically update the status. Notices will then be sent through mails or as text messages,” said Rahangdale.

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