Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue showed off its new engines and equipment after £8 million of investment from the county council, which will help increase the speed that crews can deal with incidents.
A fleet of 33 new appliances – the latest generation of Scania truck chassis – will be sent out to fire stations in the county over the next two years at a rate of around two vehicles a month. Each fire engine costs around £240,000.
It has improved safety and handling and reduced emissions. The first fire engine will be on the run from September 27 and will be based at Donington.
By the end of the year the stations at Donington, Caistor, Mablethorpe, Kirton, Holbeach and Brant Broughton will have taken delivery of the new fire engines.
The new appliances replace the current fire engines, which are around 12-14 years old and coming towards the end of their working life.
The new fire engines are capable of carrying 1800 litres of water on-board compared with 1400 litres on the older appliances.
A broader spectrum of rescuing equipment will also be available and the changes will help improve the safety and welfare of the firefighters.
The fire service carried out demonstrations of Coldcut Cobra and the Holmatro cutting equipment used at road traffic collisions at its training base in Waddington on Thursday.
The new equipment includes:
- Hilti impact driver (demo)
- Halligan tool used for entering premises, removing padlocks etc
- Tirfor winch (portable)
- 6m roof ladder on the engine and 9m ladders
- 22m hose reel with variable branch
The Coldcut Cobra equipment has already been in use on 23 fire engines and it will be added to the 16 new appliances being rolled out.
The Coldcut Cobra is an ultra high pressure system where iron filings, containing water, travel through walls at 400 miles per hour from the nozzle, meaning firefighters can tackle fires from outside buildings. The iron filings can cut through metal and up to 11 inches of concrete.
The new fire engines and equipment will help crews access fires quicker and allows them to work in a safer environment. It will also ensure that all 38 stations in Lincolnshire will have the Cobra equipment fitted.
Dave Hopkins, Group Manager at Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue, told The Lincolnite: “I think the great thing, and it really is around the investment from the county council, is the decision was taken that wherever you live in Lincolnshire you have the same level of fire cover and equipment available to you.
“It means you’re getting the standardised service at the best levels right the way across the county. I’m fortunate in that I do get to travel around the country and the investment in the Fire & Rescue service by Lincolnshire County Council is second to none.”
Councillor Nick Worth, Executive Member for Fire & Rescue Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The equipment on the new fire engines is the best anywhere in the UK and I can say that with some confidence having spoken with a number of authorities across the country.”
This is the latest boost to Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue after fire and ambulance crews moved into a brand new £21 million emergency services station on South Park this summer. Police will move in this autumn when it will become the first tri-service operational station in the country.
Fireman Sam reflection
Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue made national headlines earlier this week after The Lincolnite broke the story that Fireman Sam will no longer be used to promote the service as local residents complained he was not “inclusive enough”.
The top boss at Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue clashed with national newspapers and Piers Morgan over the decision, which sparked a mass debate.
On the issue, Councillor Worth said: “The fire service here has changed a lot over the last few years. We have some highly qualified and extremely well trained female firefighters, but we’re trying to get a diverse workforce and we’re leading among the UK in doing that.
“We have on average more female firefighters in Lincolnshire than the national average.
“We don’t have a mascot, we never have had mascots and I think the firefighter Sam doesn’t align with our modern day practices.”