New fire engineA state-of-the-art vehicle is being piloted on the streets of Hampshire.

The Intermediate Capability (IC) vehicle is equipped with cutting-edge ultra-high pressure lances (UHPL) and the latest rescue gear.

It is also slightly smaller than traditional engines making it easier to manoeuvre on busy city roads.

The pilot IC is based at St Mary’s Fire Station, in Southampton, and has already been used in incidents from fires and traffic collisions to automatic fire alarms and hazardous material call outs.

There will soon be more prototypes around Hampshire; at Southsea, Rushmoor, Basingstoke and Whitchurch.

The pilot vehicle is being shaped by firefighters on the frontline who are scrutinising every aspect of its performance.

If successful, after feedback and suggestions from crews, the engine may be rolled out across the county next year.

The IC vehicle is part of a strategy that runs alongside the pioneering SAVE approach that could shape the future of modern firefighting and was devised by Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Scan, Attack, Ventilate, Enter pneumonic represents a strategy that will give greater protection to firefighters through embracing modern technology including the wall-piercing UHPLs and thermal-imaging cameras.

This approach will be delivered by a new, more effective, three-tier vehicle fleet ranging from traditional-style engines to a First Response Capability vehicle.

The IC vehicle can be crewed by between two to five firefighters. Deputy Chief Officer Neil Odin said: “I am delighted that our teams across Hampshire have worked hard in the development of a new way of firefighting and the launch of this pilot vehicle is focussed on bringing the very latest technology to our firefighters, keeping them safer while delivering a faster more effective capability.”