For fast and timely containment of the accidental fires in the congested areas J&KERA (Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency) under its World Bank funded JTFRP (Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project)has provided 17 Quick Response Vehicles (QRV) to the Fire and Emergency Services Department.

These 17 QRV’s (Quick Response Vehicles) worth Rs1.73 crores for fire-fighting and nearly 26 more which will include 17 MPFT (Multi-Purpose Fire Tenders) apart from 09 regular Fire tenders are going to be added to the fleet soon. The Jammu and Kashmir is set to get a major fleet of modern, compact fire tenders that could improve response time to provide a cutting edge to fire and rescue services in J&K.

The Jammu and Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA) under the component of Strengthening of the Disaster Management Capacity of the World Bank funded JTFRP is taking up the much needed modernization of the ageing fleet of fire tenders and equipping it with advanced fire-fighting materials..

The officials at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said that with the addition of these vehicles under JTFRP, the fire fighters of the department could serve even in the narrowest of lanes in congested areas of the Srinagar and Jammu cities which are prone to accidental fires.

“This is really useful addition to our fleet. With these vehicles, we can now cater to different and difficult fire accident-prone areas across Jammu and Kashmir with accuracy,” said, Bashir Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director, Fire and Emergency Service, headquarter Srinagar.

“We have received 17 mini-vehicles (QRVs) from JTFRP and more latest and sophisticated firefighting equipment are coming. I am sure that it would be a shot in the arm of our firefighting team to operate in busy areas and ensuring better results,” he said.

He said that 17 quick response vehicles that were received from JTFRP have been distributed to several districts across Jammu and Kashmir.

“The quick response vehicles, which would be stationed in every divisional and district headquarters has a foam tank and fire extinguisher to douse the fire in congested areas where normal fire tenders would find it difficult to enter for want of adequate space,” Shah said, adding “These vehicles are also useful for handling oil fires, besides it has a 60 litres mounted tank which contains foam.”

Another official, Noor Alam, Sub Officer, Fire Service Headquarter, Srinagar, said that “the vehicle is first aid for dousing the fire till we get the massive vehicles to the areas.”

“Sometimes, somewhere, fire breaks out from areas like kitchen or bathroom in the congested areas and it becomes very difficult for us to move with heavy vehicles, so these QRVs have come handy,” Alam said.

Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, the firefighters have also been deployed for spraying disinfectants at specified locations across the region.

The officials at the Fire and Emergency Services department said with the help of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, the QRVs and other vehicles have been also being used for spraying disinfectants in congested areas and hospitals in view of the pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer, JKERA/JTFRP, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah appreciated the firefighters for their proactive role in firefighting and for remaining at the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.

“As part of the strengthening of the Disaster Risk Management Capacity these vehicles will go a long way in augmenting the fire and emergency response system on modern lines , we are hopeful that the F& ES Dept. will utilise these well and any fire related emergency can be tackled in a quick efficient and effective manner” he said.