BUSAN, April 10 (Korea Bizwire) — The coastal city of Busan, home to South Korea’s second largest city-dwelling population along with one of the busiest ports in the world, boasts more skyscrapers within its limits than any other South Korean city.
Besides its enviable skyline unrivaled by domestic peers, the city is also home to seven nuclear reactors currently in operation, as well as 206 neighborhoods served only by narrow alleys.
These distinctive features make Busan highly susceptible to fires breaking out and spiraling out of control, while the prospect of navigating tight streets and clustered skyscrapers to get on-site can be a logistical headache for firefighters.
As a remedy, the metropolitan city government is bringing in a bonanza of new toys that should make the fire department’s work much more efficient, if not easier, in the future.
A 23-billion-won cutting-edge helicopter solely devoted to the fire department’s needs was unveiled at a ceremony today. The chopper can stay airborne for four hours carrying fourteen passengers, and it can hold 1,500 liters of water for extinguishing fires, ten times the volume of a standard helicopter.
The fire department’s aerial capabilities were further buttressed as its drone fleet will go from just one to five. The drones will be of particular use should a fire break out in one of Busan’s towering buildings.
Other changes to the fire department’s arsenal are eight new fire trucks that are 75cm narrower than usual – lighter vehicles that should make traversing Busan’s many tiny alleys a more viable proposition – and the replacement of the current 100-ton firefighting sea vessel to a 500-ton all-purpose ship.