New control room to make Mumbai fire brigade quicker, better
The new system will direct the fire engines to avoid routes that have traffic and take the shortest route possible.
The Mumbai Fire Brigade is set to get an integrated command and control room at Byculla by the end of this month, to improve its response time to disasters by 5-6 minutes and facilitate real-time coordination between firemen and officials at the control room.
According to fire officials, currently, the time taken by fire vehicles to reach a spot in the island city is 15-20 minutes, whereas it is 20-22 minutes for suburban areas. From tracking movement of fire engines to directing them to reach the spot by taking the shortest route, the integrated command control system is programmed to upgrade the response and avoid manual errors.
Currently, all communication is carried out manually through the wireless system. “The officials write down the details of the fire call and pass it on to the fire station concerned. However, the control room is unaware if the fire engines have actually left for the spot. Also, if the response vehicle is stuck in traffic or takes a different route, the control room will not be able to direct them properly without knowing the exact location of the vehicle,” said a senior civic official.
The new system will direct the fire engines to avoid routes that have traffic and take the shortest route possible. In its second phase, the fire brigade plans to track the nearest vehicles to the fire spot. “At times when the fire vehicles are taking a longer time than usual, we can direct the nearest vehicles available to the spot,” he said.
The cost of the project is ₹60 crore, which includes the maintenance of the system for seven years. Eight officers, headed by a divisional fire officer will operate from the control room.
P Rahangdale, chief fire officer, said, “The fire brigade is dependent on telephonic communication to exchange messages during disasters. The new system has been installed at all fire stations. Once started, all details of a disaster call will be simultaneously sent to the fire stations. Saving five to six minutes will make a huge difference in controlling fire.”