A new multi-purpose 12-tonne fire engine packed with equipment to deal with a range of emergencies and two vehicles equipped with specialist technology have been unveiled by Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service.
The 12-tonne vehicle, known as a rescue tender, will be based at Kidlington Fire Station and will serve the whole county.
It carries over 300 pieces of equipment and is crewed by firefighters who have acquired specialist skills through an in-depth and on-going training regime to respond to challenging rescue incidents. It, along with two new light response vehicles, was officially launched at Blenheim Palace on Thursday.
Incidents the new rescue tender, which is now in active service, is designed to respond to involve animal rescues, structural collapse, complex road traffic collisions, aircraft crashes, railway incidents, water rescues and rescues from height and confined space.
The truck cost £220,000 and replaces a ten-year-old rescue tender, which has come to the end of its operational life, having covered nearly 200,000 miles and responded to around 4,000 emergency calls.
The light response vehicles - known as ‘Canters’ - are fully equipped to deal with all regular incident types - such as house fires and road traffic collisions - and have special thermal imaging cameras on-board to assist firefighters to see through smoke.
Some of the equipment used on the old specialist rescue tender will be reused to help keep costs down.
The Canters were demonstration models and were purchased at a cut-price of £70,000 each. They will replace two other vehicles that have come to the end of their operational lives and will start their service stationed at Witney and Slade Park, Oxford.