Six of the best


Avon Fire & Rescue Service is about to send six new appliances – together worth a total of nearly £2.4million, ‘on the run’.

Two new turntable ladders and four combined rescue pumps have been put through their paces in recent weeks in training scenarios.

But now the new appliances - replacements for existing vehicles - are ready to take to the streets for real.

The two turntable ladders, which will be based at Bath and Weston-super-Mare fire stations, are state-of-the-art vehicles and are the first of their kind in the UK.

They cost just over £500,000 each, and feature a 27-metre Metz ladder on a MAN TG chassis.

They feature an on-board stretcher, on-board generator which supports power sockets in the cage itself, for easier use of tools and grinders, and water jets built into the floor of the cage to help cool down any surfaces firefighters might be stepping onto.

The combined rescue pumps, which cost just under £340,000 each, can perform the duties of the traditional standard fire engine and the rescue tender, which carries specialist equipment for use in incidents such as road traffic collisions.

Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “The combination of two vehicles into one represents a considerable cost saving to the organisation by using resources more efficiently and effectively.

“This also reinforces Avon Fire Authority’s decision to support and maintain frontline services during these difficult financial times.”

These four vehicles will be based at Bath, Temple, Avonmouth and Weston-super-Mare fire stations.

All six vehicles are fitted with low emission Euro 5 diesel engines.

They are similar weights to the vehicles they are replacing; the turntable ladders are approximately 15 tonnes and the combined rescue pumps are 18 tonnes.

The latter are slightly longer than the vehicles they are replacing, and are fitted with the latest light impact-resistant plastic bodies which have a lifetime warranty and are 100% recyclable.

Each of the vehicles has been subjected to some rigorous testing before being approved for active use.

This process has included a tilt test; the turntable ladder achieved an angle of 31 degrees before lifting a wheel and the combined rescue pump reached 38 degrees – that compares to a double decker bus which will reach 28 degrees before toppling over.