Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service is leading the way on using smaller fire engines as the frontline emergency response vehicle at certain fire stations.
The service is hosting a workshop at its headquarters near Exeter, July 6, to show its research to other fire and rescue services across the country.
Group Manager Ally MacDonald, Response Support Manager, said: "Other brigades are using smaller appliances for specific reasons such as responding to small fires.
"Devon and Somerset is the first fire service in the country to combine smaller appliances with compressed air foam systems instead of water and reduce standard equipment carried on the appliance, according to the risks in that location."
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority agreed to the Service carrying out further work to implement the new Light Rescue Pumps (LRPs) in May. As part of the service's public consultation on its corporate plan proposals, 80.2% of those that responded to the consultation agreed that the proposal should be implemented.
An initial trial at Crediton has indicated that the smaller appliances may reduce response times to certain incidents by up to 20%.
Further trials of the smaller appliances will now continue at Crediton, Minehead and Wells fire stations. The smaller appliances could potentially replace the larger, standard fire appliances at a number of fire stations across the two counties.   
Light rescue pumps perform the same role as larger fire engines, for example, they carry the same number of firefighters, water, compressed air foam, breathing apparatus and road collision rescue equipment, and attend the same emergency incidents.
However, the light rescue pumps are lighter and smaller than traditional fire appliances and have significant advantages, particularly in rural areas where the roads are narrower and in places where badly parked cars are an issue.
Advantages to introducing light rescue pumps include:
· A more balanced fleet of appliances
· Appliances better suited to community risk and need
· Appliances better suited to the area's geography and unique road network
· Staff were involved in drawing up  the vehicle specification.

Additional informationSpecification comparison of standard fire appliance and light rescue pump:
 
Typical fire appliance                                              LRP
12/14 tonnes                                                             7.5 tonnes
Length 7.91m                                                           6.18m
Width    2.6m                                                             2.04m
Height   3.12m                                                          2.74m
Water capacity 1800lts                                            1000lts
Breathing apparatus x 4                                         BA x 3
Road rescue enhanced                                          Road rescue full set
Crew max 6                                                               Max 5
Foam system                                                            Foam system
Miles per gallon 10                                                  18/20
Ladders 13.5m                                                         10.5m

 

Posted: 10.00, 6/7/11,rachael.haydon@pavpub.com