Special Fire Appliances


      Situations arise for a station officer, when the water tender alone, is unable to combat fires, or to contain it, in his area. Areas such as Ports, air ports, chemicals and oil processing industries, will require other extinguishing agents, depending on the risks involved. If such risks exists in his station ground, the officer in charge ensures that the appliances  he is holding will be able to successfully combat such risks or he gets the required appliances with out delay from a near by station or through  a standing Mutual aid scheme , with other Stations, for special situations.

      Special appliances, or Emergency tenders, - Are designed to tackle special situations, rescue operations the fire and rescue services has to respond, such as; 

       1) Large urban fires and rescue operations, requiring the use of Breathing apparatus, special tools, and equipments to enhance illumination. 

        2) Major fires involving power stations, or transformers.

        3) Ship fires at ports. 

        4) Accidents in lifts, roads, or railways where special equipments are not available locally.

         5) Major leakages, spills of toxic or other dangerous substances.  

      A few special appliances with the facilities available in them is listed below 

1) Emergency Tender Type A is fitted with a generator and compressor. Power is provided by an independent hydraulic motor which are driven by a pump through a Power take off from the road engine.  Other equipments include-  

         i) Five B.A. sets with spare cylinders. 

         ii) Air lines. 

         iii) Control equipments.

         iv) Chemical protection suits. 

         v) Documentation gear.

         vi) Jacks.

        vii) Lifting tackle.

        Viii) Cutting gear.

          ix) Wide variety of block and tools. 

           x) Special lifting gears. 


  Emergency tender Type B-: This functions also as a B.A. Tender and control unit. Carries all equipments and tools as Type A, except, do not have a generator. They are capable of covering extensive dock areas, and carries special equipment, to deal with ships. 

 Water carriers  ;   -  Carries large quantity of water ,  Minimum 4500ltrs , 4 lengths of  4 lengths of 25mm,45mm delivery hoses , light portable pump which can pump straight  from the tank, lift water and fill the tank via a goose neck , supply hose reel, also water can be discharged quickly into portable dams. 

 Foam Tender: - Different capacities suitable to the risk area are available .Delivers foam concentrate in bulk to the fire ground as a back up unit. Some have fixed monitors, carries a high capacity pump and water to operate for long duration. 2 dams of 225 ltrs and 450 ltrs to hold open volume of foam concentrate to feed monitors is also carried.


  CONTROL UNITS :-During major incidents, control units are established at the Fire ground to  coordinate all the units taking part in the operation, and for calling reinforcements . An officer coordinates with other teams with this mobile unit, which is fitted with communication equipments. For easier identification these units are marked with red and white checks a round its sides, and have a telescopic mast to flash a beacon. Large scale maps with details of water supplies available and access to them is carried. 

  Dry powder tender: - Carries large quantities of Dry chemical powder, with other accessories, mounted is a monitor which can throw large quantities of powder, with longer reach. Powder is expelled by Nitrogen gas carried in several cylinders.

 Hose laying vans;-Assists for laying hoses for long relays when water supplies are limited at the Fire ground. It Carries 90mm size hose, kept coupled and flaked in continuous lines. Can be laid in single or double lines as the situation requires at a speed of 50kph. 

 Besides these , there are FOAM nursers, and lighting vans when illumination, require to be improved. 

 An officer keeps studying his station areas of the existing risks, and additional risks coming up that add to his fleet, the required appliances, to combat the anticipated fires.


                                                                                        T.V K Raman  

                                                                                        Retd. Fire Office SAIL

                                                                                        Phone : 24470848

                                           Email : boxer_tvk@yahoo.com