The safety of communities across Scotland has been bolstered – thanks to a multi-million pound investment in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s vehicle fleet.
A total of four Aerial Ladder Platforms (ALPs) and a Turntable Ladder appliance (TTL) were unveiled on 19 April with a spectacular convoy that set-off from Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge under a police escort. It then made its way its way through the heart of the city as crowds looked on before arriving outside the Scottish Parliament.
The gleaming new vehicles will be deployed at fire stations in Aberdeen, Dundee, Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh while the TTL will also be stationed in the capital.
Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said, “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome the arrival of these cutting -edge vehicles. There is no doubt whatsoever that they will assist our firefighters in protecting their communities at times of significant emergency. Our prevention efforts have reduced the number of fires, but we’re seeing new and emerging risks, including severe weather and terrorism. That not only requires us to have a broader range of skills and capabilities – but the tools for the job. These appliances provide that capability.”
Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, welcomed the show of strength. She said, “Scotland benefits from a fire and rescue service with highly-skilled and professional staff, and it is right that it has access to the latest technologies and equipment to safeguard our communities from a range of incidents and potential threats. The Scottish Government continues to invest in our world-class fire and rescue service, protecting the SFRS’s revenue funding this year, while significantly increasing its capital budget to acquire critical equipment such as these new vehicles. These state-of-the-art appliances will greatly enhance the resources Scotland’s firefighters can call upon in emergency situations and they can be mobilised to incidents right across the country to help preserve life and keep people safe.”
The new appliances – worth around £3m – further bolster the frontline of the SFRS. The TTL has an extendable ladder mounted to its roof, capable of rising 32m – more than 100ft. It also has a cage unit that can support around four firefighters plus a rescued party – or a weight up to 500kg. A further two appliances are scheduled to be delivered to the service later in the year.
Rosenbauer UK supplied the new vehicles. Managing Director Oliver North said, “The first four 32m (104ft) Aerial Ladder Platforms and Edinburgh’s 32m Turntable Ladder stand at the absolute pinnacle of aerial fire fighting and rescue technology and quality, and will spend the next 15 years saving lives and assisting firefighters in carrying out the most demanding of tasks.”