Bath’s fire station is to benefit from a state-of-the-art appliance after Avon Fire & Rescue Service welcomed seven new vehicles to help firefighters better respond to emergencies.
Communities across the region will be able to see the appliances out and about following months of planning and procuring the new FL280 Volvo appliances when they join the Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) fleet this summer.
Designed by a working group of 16 AF&RS personnel, including firefighters, fleet services, workshop crews and corporate staff, the process, including consultation with crews and the selection of the appliances, was led by staff in delivering a solution that met specific needs.
The working group researched chassis, body types and new equipment, as well as supporting the procurement process which led to an innovative approach to procuring the new appliances and the collaborative success of the project.
Ensuring a “clean cab” policy was also an important part of the process and saw the design of storage compartments in the rear of the appliance being included for used breathing apparatus and other equipment.
The aim of this being that it will improve firefighter safety by reducing the spread of contaminants in the cab.
AF&RS Technical Centre’s Station Manager, Martyn White, who led the project said: “The new appliances are a huge step forward for us in establishing a clean cab policy as well as introducing new state of the art equipment onto our appliances.
“By reducing contaminants in the cab, we can keep our crews safer.
“The new technology and improved equipment on the new appliances will also help us to respond more effectively to emergencies and ultimately, keep our communities safer.
“The working group have researched and delivered the very best appliances for our Service by increasing firefighter safety and improving our response for local residents.”
The new appliances are slightly smaller in size and have innovative features, such as under chassis lighting for slow speed manoeuvring, microphones for communication between firefighters on the ground and the driver, and individual Bostrom seating to increase comfort on longer journeys.
Firefighter Alex Brine, Avonmouth Red Watch, was part of the working group, he said: “We’re never going to get away from the fact that this is a large vehicle.
“However the design of the vehicle means we can carry the same amount of equipment on a smaller appliance, making it easier to navigate narrower streets.”
Key features of the new appliances include:
- State of the art, battery powered Holmatro cutting gear
- Milwaukee portable lights
- Selection of battery operated power tools including drills, impact screwdriver and wrench, multi tool, reciprocating saw and angle grinder
- Thermal imaging cameras
- 22mm high pressure hose reels
- 1800 litre water tank
- 100 litre foam tank
- Flow meters on all deliveries
- High rise multi nozzle firefighting branches
- Storage for dirty equipment, to allow for a clean cab policy
- 360 degree CCTV
- Under chassis lighting
- Rear camera and microphone
- Fridge for keeping water bottles cool
- USB sockets
- Lockable compartment for crew valuables
- Hand wash with hot and cold water and soap dispenser
- Hot water boiler
- Hose ramps
Alex added: “It’s a really fantastic bit of kit that’s going to make our lives easier and will help us do our job even better.”
The stations receiving the first seven new appliances are Bath, Avonmouth, Temple, Weston-super-Mare, Bedminster and Kingswood.
The seven new appliances will replace reserve appliances currently part of the fleet, which will be retired from AF&RS and sent to The Gambia later this year as part of Gambia and Avon Fire Services in Partnership (GAFSIP).