Four new fire engines are now ready for the run in Northamptonshire, giving firefighters more capacity, access to the latest technology and modernising an ageing fleet, some of which is 20 years old.
The generation Type B SCANIA appliances were officially launched at The Mounts on May 17 and will now be ready to use at The Mounts, Moulton, Kettering and Mereway respectively. They mark the first new fire engines for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in more than a decade.
Three of the engines at the wholetime stations which are being replaced will now replace older appliances at the on-call stations at Guilsborough, Woodford Halse and Rothwell, giving these crews access to ultra-high-pressure capabilities for the first time.
The new fire engines – which each cost £350,000 and have been under construction in Scotland since last year – have been designed by the service’s Fleet team with crew welfare, diversity and futureproofing at the forefront of their thinking, as well as public safety.
Major new additions include a clean cab design, with a separate locker for Breathing Apparatus sets that will also be able to hold clean spare fire kit and house contaminated kit away from the cab.
Other enhancements include air conditioning for the cab to help after exposure to high temperatures, new cutting equipment for road traffic collisions, and bigger hoses and fuel tanks to help firefighting capability.
The engines will also be easier to handle on the road thanks to the addition of new tyres and full air suspension, while new front and rear sensors will alert crews to any pedestrians nearby, while there is also a CCTV camera for reversing.
The new-look cab will include USB ports, night lighting, fold down tables and a lockable compartment for personal belongings and can effectively be used as a mobile office for crews while they undertake community work.
Lem Freezer, Head of Joint Transport and Logistics for Northamptonshire Police & Fire, said: “We’re really excited to have been able to finally update our fleet and to get these appliances out and about. There are a lot of new features and we hope the upgraded design will help firefighters in their day-to-day activities.”
Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “It’s been a long time since we were able to invest in new fire engines for our crews, and I’m delighted that they are going to be getting some exciting new state-of-the-art equipment. Not only will this really help in terms of the quality of protection we can offer to our residents, but it’s also vastly enhancing the working conditions and welfare of our staff.”
Work remains ongoing on four other Type B appliances that will be added to the fleet in the coming months, as well as a new aerial appliance for Moulton which will reach a height of 42.3 metres – a significant upgrade on the current 28 metre capability.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold added: “When I took over governance of NFRS from the county council, the aim was to get us into a position where we could stabilise our finances and then be able to invest.
“We lobbied the Government extensively to ensure we got additional funding for the fire service. And we are on a really positive journey, which is why we’ve been able to not only invest in recruiting more firefighters into the organisation, but we’ve also been able to purchase these new engines to give them the best possible kit to ensure they are well trained and well-equipped to keep the county safe.”