A new Hazardous Material Handling Vehicle called Hazmat is bought by the State Disaster Response & Fire Services (DRFS) Department from Uttar Pradesh.
The vehicle has many exclusive features and facilities with cabin resembling like a mini work-station with computer, fax and other gadgets placed at fixed slots for distribution of information from the trouble-spot. A revolving video camera is placed on its top with mast-lights, to allow operator inside to have an all-round view of the disaster spot.
Hazmat’s equipment will enable the operator to listen to meager voices buried below debris at the time of earthquakes or building collapse. In the middle of Hazmat, there are two tanks, each consisting of 1,000 litres of water and foam.
Hazmat operators put on spacesuit-like dress and masks which helps them to drive straight into the disaster zone to perform search, rescue and fire-fighting tasks. It consists of circulating air filter, victim location system, inflatable decontamination shelter, dose rate meter to measure nuclear radiation, multi-gas detectors, ventilator and smoke extractor and explosion-proof system.
It is built with approximately Rs. 5 crore. Hazmat comes with facilities to handle chemical, biological and nuclear accidents apart from oil/acid spillages. Components and equipment of this vehicle are imported from Germany, Holland and the US and is assembled at Mathura in UP. The vehicle was manufactured on Volvo framework.
This vehicle was India’s fourth Hazmat, of which first three are placed at Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Officials planned to acquire Hazmat for the Secretariat where fire accidents were frequent.