Three new fire engines have been introduced to the on-call fleet at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.
The new smaller alternative vehicles will be initially trialled by on-call firefighters at St Neots, March and Ely. The crews will also be trialling new battery-powered cutting equipment, for use mainly at road traffic collisions. The kit is similar to that currently used but doesn’t require wires or a power generator.
Group Commander Gary Mitchely, head of on-call response at CFRS, said: “We have invested in these alternative fire engines to trial a different way of responding to emergency calls. These vehicles will carry equipment that is most often needed at incidents, rather than the vast array of equipment that our standard fire engines carry to deal with all foreseeable risk.
“We are initially trialling these fire engine and, if successful, we will look to locate them in areas where emergency calls are not as high. We’ve analysed huge amounts of data to see what our crews on low activity stations use at different types of incidents. It is clear the need for certain equipment, such as a lightweight portable pump or a longer reach ladder isn’t there, which is why neither is included on these new engines. They will still carry water, around 1,400 litres, as well as other equipment that will enable these appliances to effectively deal with incidents that they are required to attend.
“One of the pressures faced by our on-call staff is fitting significant amounts of training into two hours a week. By removing equipment that is not needed, firefighters can not only focus on the areas of training they will need to apply, but it also reduces the amount of training needed overall.”
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority Chairman Kevin Reynolds added: “We want to ensure we provide our firefighters with the best possible equipment to be able to respond to emergency calls and protect their local community effectively. This does mean we need to continually invest in equipment and trial new ways of doing things. These new fire engines are an exciting and innovative addition to the county’s fleet and I am looking forward to seeing them at stations in due course.”
Image shows the new appliances. Picture from Cambridgeshire FRS.