Fire brigade to buy boats and kayaks to rescue Mumbaiites during floods
It is set to replace all existing equipment for the first time in 11 years.mumbai Updated: May 26, 2018 12:37 IST
Expect a new fleet of kayaks, rubber boats and lifebuoys to become a part of the Mumbai Fire Brigade soon. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is preparing the fire brigade for flood rescue operations ahead of the monsoon. In addition to this equipment, there is also a team of 160 officials who have been trained in flood rescue operations at the National Institute of Water Sports in Goa.
The fire brigade invited bids to purchase items for its flood response teams on Wednesday. On the list are six boats with outboat motors (OBM), 12 Kayaks, six water kites, 10 wet suits, water torches, and ring buoys. These will be kept at fire stations in Bandra, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Kurla Kamani, Chembur, Marol, and Borivali.
A senior fire brigade official said, “As part of the flood rescue procedure formulated in 2006, following the floods of 2005, we purchased a lot of equipment. But it has not been upgraded since. This is the first time in the past 11 years that we are completely replacing all existing equipment.”
After the floods of 2005, BMC formed a flood rescue team under the control of the Fire Brigade. It trained some firemen for flood rescue operations. There are now six units and a total of 160 officers available for flood response in case of an emergency.
They have all been trained to operate the boats and kayaks, and also in swimming and rescuing. In addition to these officers, there are 36 lifeguards posted at Girgoan, Dadar, Juhu, Versova, Aksa and Gorai beaches.
Last year, Mumbai faced the heaviest downpour on August 29, when it recorded more than 300mm of rain in 12 hours. The city came to a virtual standstill and the government was criticised for not being prepared despite warnings from the Indian Meteorological Department.