Fire Service deploys hi-tech robot for the first time in Sitakunda

Sitakunda Fire
Fire Service deploys hi-tech robot for the first time in Sitakunda. Photo: Collected.

Bangladesh Fire Service deployed fire-fighting robots for the first time to extinguish the Sitakunda fire. According to several firefighters of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence (BFSCD) force, this was the first-time deployment of such high-tech machinery to control fire in Bangladesh. 

When contacted, Md. Faruk Hossain Sikder, Assistant Director (Chattogram) of BFSCD confirmed the use of Firefighting Drones for the first time in Bangladesh.

"We have deployed all the modern resources at our disposal to douse off the fire," he told The Daily Star.

Sources from the Home Ministry have informed that the government initiated the purchase of "LUF 60" firefighting remotely operated vehicles to ensure safety for firefighters in urban environments.

The plan of buying six LUF60 was underway in 2019. Due to COVID-19, the procurement process was delayed. Before that, the government started planning to purchase these in early 2017s. However, it never materialised due shortage of funds. 

According to the website of the Austrian manufacturer, LUF 60 can spray up to 300 metres with the help of positive pressure ventilation and a 'water beam' fog to clear the smoke, heat, and toxic gases and reduce the intensity of the fire. It can spray 2,400 litres of water per minute from the device.

LUF60 Firefighting Robot
LUF60 Firefighting Robot.

The robot is easy to maintain and can be operated without much training. According to the makers, the best feature of the robot is that it can be remotely controlled from a distance, without putting the life of firefighters at risk.

The robot comes with tank-like-chain-wheels which allow it to climb stairs as steep as 30 degrees. The robot is also equipped with a thermal imager that allows firefighters to gain better situational awareness.

Countries like UAE, Russia, Austria, Germany, India, and Indonesia are currently also operating these robots in their firefighting forces.