Cornwall Airport Newquay Rescue and Firefighting Service has added a new incident-command unit to its front-line fleet. The vehicle was locally sourced, converted and delivered to the airport by Cornwall’s oldest motor dealership, the Hawkins Motor Group, established in St Stephen in 1933.
The incident-command unit is based on the robust Peugeot Boxer 435 L4/H2 panel van, fitted with a six-speed manual transmission and a 2.2-litre, 130bhp Blue HDi diesel engine. The Boxer was specified with a partial bulkhead and with nearside and offside sliding doors.
The van has been innovatively partitioned and fitted out to a high standard by Hawkins Motors into three separate, dedicated areas as specified by the client. Behind the nearside glazed sliding door is a small but fully functional forward-command suite, fitted with a small desktop area accommodating two-way radios, a tablet computer, fixed whiteboards plus site mapping and additional small stowage.
Behind the offside sliding door is a shelved area housing dedicated crash-rescue apparatus including a Holmatro ‘Greenline’ combi rescue tool, DeWalt reciprocating saw, Husqvarna rescue saw/disk cutter, Vetter lifting bags, Argus thermal-imaging camera, a Class D dry-powder extinguisher and other related equipment.
The rear of the van has been extensively fitted out and now accommodates a vast selection of medical supplies, a portable generator, additional lighting, an inflatable rescue shelter, Passenger Evacuation Management System plus other mass-casualty-related equipment formerly carried on a dedicated trailer-based unit. The three areas of the van plus all the stowed apparatus are easily accessible.
One of the fundamental reasons for the layout and the multi-function design of the vehicle was to remove the reliance on the need for support from other airport staff to transport additional equipment to an incident scene and to enable a self-sufficient RFFS.
The Boxer features windscreen, rear, side and roof-mounted 360° hi-visibility emergency-response lighting, retro-reflective ‘Battenberg’ decals, side scene lights, internal lighting throughout and a nearside retractable awning used to increase the incident-command area. It is finished in the operator’s all-new corporate livery.
The incident-command unit, which was designed in-house by the airport fire service working group, is believed to be the first combination of its kind to be commissioned by a UK airport fire service. It was executed to a very high standard and locally by the Hawkins Motor Group, which had the added bonus that the airport project team were easily on-hand, at short notice, to oversee the project and to assist the supplier throughout the build process. A number of other UK airports have also shown a specific interest in this prototype vehicle.
SAFO Charles Dixon, Cornwall Airport Newquay Rescue and Firefighting Service added, ‘The new vehicle was recently tested at a joint emergency exercise and found to be a huge improvement on our previous 4×4 command vehicle. Some really positive comments were received from responding external emergency service Operational Commanders and the command area fully supported the principals of JESIP.