Joint approach to fire appliance purchasing for Essex

Essex new vehiclesSeven new custom-built fire appliances will begin their working lives in Essex shortly, thanks to a joint money-saving purchasing arrangement with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS).

The new appliances are part of a £10m contract with Angloco to provide a total of 42 new fire appliances over the next four years to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The first seven appliances will be new Heavy Rescue Pumps, which have been designed on a bespoke basis to meet the needs of Essex. They combine the proven reliability of a Scania chassis with innovative new design features created by appliance builders Angloco. They incorporate a raft of specialist rescue equipment along with pumps and hoses, which mean they can be deployed at a wide variety of incidents from house fires to complex rescues including road traffic collisions.

The design of these appliances has been based on a consultation with six fire services in the Eastern Region. Each service contributed their best specification elements, which has resulted in a modern fire appliance using advanced technology and innovation to make fire fighting more effective and safer for Essex’s crews.

Acting Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley said, “These appliances have been designed to meet the demands of a modern fire and rescue service. Their flexibility reflects the wide range of work our crews carry out and they provide an excellent response capability, which can deal with a huge range of incidents and emergencies.

“This is the latest investment we have made in frontline equipment. We are working to create a service fit for the future and providing an excellent response by our highly trained crews in the right vehicles with the right equipment is at the core of that.

“These vehicles are not only innovative in their design and application they also have been designed and bought under an innovative arrangement, which combines knowledge and spending power to ensure we have the most appropriate equipment at the best price.”

Paul Fuller, Chief Fire Officer at BFRS said, “These vehicles are a much needed and extremely useful addition to both services’ fleet. This is a great example of collaborative partnership working, not just between ourselves and Essex but with all the regional fire services. It has created a fire appliance which includes cutting edge technology and innovations to make fire fighting both more effective and safer for our firefighters.”

The special features of the new appliances include: a rear wheel arch storage boxes that will increase stowage capacity; increased tyre size to improve grip and handling; LED lighting for greater reliability; improved front air suspension system allows the vehicle to be fully lowered to assist crews in the manual handling of equipment; the relocation of the hose reels from rear lockers to middle lockers to utilise space high up in the appliance which previously could not be used efficiently; and the vacated space in the rear locker can now be used for more effective stowage of heavy items.

The vehicles benefit from improved standard CFOA Best Practice conspicuity, and sharing the cost of Joint Vehicle Certification Agency Testing (VCA).

The new appliances will be going on the run at; Newport, Rayleigh Weir, Loughton, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Grays and Colchester Fire Stations over the coming weeks.