Helpless to prevent accidental fires, the Chennai fire and rescue services department appears to have decided to equip itself better to fight fire. The department will soon purchase two aerial ladder platforms, each of which can reach a height of 102m.The height of each floor is roughly 3m so the platforms will allow them to reach the height of a 34-storey building. A senior fire safety official said they now have two fire tenders with ladders that can reach a maximum height of only 54m. “There are now around 30 high-rise residential buildings in the city that are 60m high,” a senior fireman said. “Such buildings are now out of reach of firemen in case of an emergency .” He said the department will use the 102m snorkels for firefighting and rescue operations.
Mumbai’s fire brigade recently commissioned at a cost of 16 crore a 90-m hydraulic ladder that can reach buildings up to 30 floors high. It touted the ladder as the tallest snorkel in the country. Chennai, however, will have the credit of tallest firefighting ladder in the country once the department commissions the new snorkels. But they may not be quite high enough because developers are now constructing high-rises that are more than 120m high along OMR. CREDAI Chennai chapter President Ajit Kumar Chordia welcomed the department’s move to improve its firefighting capabilities.