Fast action in a city of 15 million

The Mumbai Fire Brigade has been working to keep residents of India’s second largest city – and financial capital – safe since 1887. Today Mumbai has 35 regular fire stations, 17 mini (quick response) fire stations, and around 2800 full-time fire fighters. The team has deployed nine Bronto Skylift aerial ladder platforms and three hydraulic platforms over the years, relying on their versatility, reliability, and fast operation to meet the megacity’s wide range of fire and rescue needs.

Mr Rajendra Chaudhary has served as the Deputy Chief Officer (Technical) in the Brigade for the past 37 years. He has his work cut out: Mumbai Fire Brigade fields on average 17000 emergency calls per year, including about 5000 fire calls, and the needs in the city of 15 million are diverse. In the course of its duties, Mumbai Fire Brigade handles everything from fire protection to building collapses, gas leaks, accidents, drowning, and natural disaster response. But not every call is life or death, Chaudhary explains: the brigade often uses aerial platforms to rescue kites from trees and help decorate statues for national programs.

In Mumbai, Chaudhary continues, most households use a small gas cylinder for cooking. When fire fighters are operating very closely to a burning building, they must be able to act quickly if the gas explodes. Diverse building designs add to the challenge the brigade faces every day — a challenge that Bronto Skylift’s aerial platforms are well-equipped to handle.

Mr Rajendra Chaudhary, posing with a Bronto on India’s Independence Day.

“Many different building designs are used — the size of the doors and windows may be different, and sometimes people have fixed steel protective grills to the outside of the building, which makes firefighting and rescue work more difficult. Bronto has addressed the issue by putting three doors on the cage: one at the side, one at the front, and one at the rear. This flexible cage design helps us be fast and safe, even at a height of 80 metres.”

Chaudhary, with a background in mechanical engineering, has been working with Bronto Skylift aerials since 1993 and knows the equipment inside-out.

“I take all the emergency calls, and I know the Bronto Skylift products very well. Compared to the other platforms we use, Bronto is the best in terms of quality, performance, reliability and uptime. Each part is high quality, and the percentage failure of any given component is very low. The Brontos are very reliable.”

When asked about his loyal history with Bronto Skylift, Chaudhary notes good service and easy cooperation with both Bronto and its official dealer, Brijbasi Hi-Tech, whose team provides efficient sales and after-sales support for the Bronto units.

“I like the people I’ve worked with. If I have any problems, I call the service department, and somebody will always be there to help. That’s amazing. We just made a contract with Brijbasi to maintain the Bronto vehicles for a period of three years. They have the tools and skills needed to maintain electronic equipment. I’ve been using Bronto vehicles in Mumbai for 27 years, and they have a very good track record. I’ve used these platforms so many times to save lives.”

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