Days before the fateful fire in the Kalbadevi building which killed Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar, he had gone to Finland to test a new ladder to ensure his department was prepared better to fight fires.
While Nesarikar is no more to see his efforts come to fruition, he leaves behind a gift for the fire brigade its tallest ever ladder that will prove vital to future firefighting operations in high-rises.
Nesarikar had shared these pictures of him trying out the Bronto Skylift F 90 HLA in Finland with mid-day, days before he suffered critical injuries in the Kalbadevi blaze on May 9, which ultimately led to his death
Before the Gokul Niwas blaze on May 9, in which Nesarikar suffered 50 per cent third-degree burns that resulted in his death, he had shared the pictures of his test drive with this reporter. The Bronto Skylift F 90 HLA is a hydraulic platform ladder vehicle with a working height of 90 metres.
Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar
Mumbai fire brigade’s tallest ladder, as of now, is 68 metres tall and can reach up to 22 floors. The F 90 HLA, which is expected to arrive in the city by the end of this month, can reach up to 30 floors. With residential and commercial spaces in the city reaching new heights, literally, the civic body decided to purchase the F 90 HLA to ensure they were adequately prepared to douse fires in these skyscrapers.
Bronto Skylift F 90 HLA during his test drive in Finland
Nesarikar had visited Finland in the first week of May and personally tested the entire unit. Having landed in Mumbai thereafter, he had narrated his experience to this reporter. “This is a new machine for the Mumbai fire brigade and it is the tallest ladder we will have. Till now, we have a ladder that is 68 metres tall, but this one will be better.
Going all the way to the 30th floor was an amazing experience,” he had told mid-day then, adding, “this vehicle will be very helpful to our department, as Mumbai has many high-rise buildings now.” Speaking about the technical prowess of the vehicle, Nesarikar had said that though the ladder is powered by a main engine, it can also be operated using a small stand-by pump, should the main system break down.
“We have multiple options ensuring the vehicle never stops functioning. If both the engine and SSP (stand-by pump) fail, we can operate the ladder using electric supply,” Nesarikar had described to mid-day. This first-of-its-kind vehicle will have Byculla fire station as its home. The equipment will cost the BMC approximately Rs 15 crore.
Mumbai fire chief Sunil Nesarikar given guard of honour, laid to rest
Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar, who succumbed to the burn injuries he sustained in the Kalbadevi fire, was given a guard of honour yesterday; the fire department grieves losing their man of action. (Click here to read the full story)
Kalbadevi blaze: Mumbai fire brigade loses its chief
Chief Fire Officer Sunil Nesarikar yesterday succumbed to the burn injuries he had sustained while trying to put out the blaze that consumed Kalbadevi’s Gokul Niwas on May 9; the cause of death is multiple organ failure. (Click here to read the full story)
P S Rahandale, acting chief fire officer, said this exclusive vehicle would reach Mumbai by the end of June. “The vehicle will be stationed at Byculla fire station.
It will be transported by ship from Finland in its entirety, without having to assemble it in Mumbai. The 90-metre ladder of the vehicle is the first-of-its-kind and will better equip the department,” he said.
Here are the different kinds of ladders the fire stations are currently equipped with.
Fire stations with aerial ladder platform
Byculla: 42 metres
Nariman Point: 42 metres
Worli: 27 metres
Mulund: 42 metres
Chembur: 42 metres
Kandivli: 32 metres
Fire stations with turntable ladders
Fort: 30 metres
Andheri: 37 metres
Bandra-Kurla Complex: 37 metres
Vikhroli: 37 metres
Byculla: 55 metres
Goregaon: 30 metres
Fire stations with hydraulic platform ladders
Byculla: 68 metres and 25 metres
Kandivli: 25 metres
A tall order
Length of ladder: 90 metres
Length of truck: 16 metres
Weight: 50 tonnes
Cost: Rs 15 crore