Firefighters across Norfolk have received £1.44m of new kit as part of an investment by Norfolk County Council in technology and equipment.
In addition, five new multi-purpose tactical response vehicles (TRV) are due to be put into service this month, to enhance NFRS’s capability in extreme weather conditions and at difficult to reach locations. These have cost a total of £187,000, including purchase costs and fitting them with specialist equipment.
New personal protective equipment for all 787 firefighters across the county is being issued this week and will ensure staff safety across different working environments. Supplies include new helmets, gloves, trousers, jackets, fire fighting coats and eye protection. New leather fire boots will also be issued as required.
There will also be new high-visibility lightweight jackets suitable for non-fire incidents such as road traffic collisions and rescues, as well as full new kit for the water rescue teams and drone pilots. All the clothing comes in full male and female firefighter sizings and cuts to ensure the best fit for all staff.
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said, “Ensuring our staff have the best kit for all the different challenges they face is a top priority and we are pleased to be rolling out new protective clothing and equipment for all frontline staff.
“The new vehicles will enhance the work of the fire and rescue service. They are a particularly useful tool when crews deal with extreme conditions such as flooding or wildfires, as they enable swift access to areas that are sometimes difficult to reach with a traditional fire engine.”
The new TRVs will be located at fire stations in Wymondham, Diss, Fakenham, Cromer and Sandringham and carry a range of specialist equipment to tackle a wide range of incidents. This includes a misting unit and water tank for tackling wildfires and the ability to switch kit for other scenarios, including cutting gear for use at road traffic collisions. TRVs have successfully become a key part of the vehicle fleet for fire and rescue services across the country thanks to their versatility.
The five Toyota Hilux vehicles have been modified with improved brakes, suspension and lighting so can be fully utilised for responding to 999 calls across the county. They can take a crew of three firefighters, or four in situations where the misting unit is not needed.
As part of the service’s ongoing risk planning work through the service’s Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) 2020-2023, use of all fleet within the service is being reviewed to ensure that Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has the best equipment to most effectively protect Norfolk and its communities into the future.
In March, Norfolk County Council committed to an increase of £2.897m in capital investment for the service, to include the above as well as fire station improvements, new ICT equipment and technology.