Many of Scotland’s firefighters will soon be armed with the very latest firefighting equipment – capable of blasting through concrete and steel.
The Ultra High-Pressure Lances, branded Coldcut Cobra, will enable crews to tackle the fire quickly from outside of the building by injecting high-pressure water through walls and doors.
This state-of-the-art equipment will enhance the Service’s existing capabilities, improving both public and firefighter safety.
And the proven technology will be carried by a bespoke fleet of 40 new fire engines, representing a £7.6million investment in the safety of the country’s most diverse and rural communities.
The kit was demonstrated at SFRS' National Training Centre on Tuesday, August 28.
The move comes as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service seeks to transform to meet new and emerging risks.
Alasdair Hay is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer.
He said: “This is the very pinnacle of modern firefighting – with this proven technology our crews can begin firefighting within seconds of arrival by cutting straight to the heart of the flames.
“Combined with these state-of-the art appliances our retained firefighters will be able to respond quickly and decisively to keep saving lives.
“But crucially, we will be able to fight many fires without putting our firefighters’ lives in danger by sending them into a burning building.
“Retained and volunteer firefighters are the most amazing people, dedicated to protecting their communities, and it is right and proper that we provide them with the tools for the job.”
Stations across Scotland, from Corriecravie in Arran to Foyers in Highlands and from Papa Westray on the Orkney Isles to Denny in Falkirk, are amongst the volunteer and RDS stations which have been identified to benefit from the investment.
The bespoke appliances can carry up to four firefighters, are more agile than their traditional counterparts and have been designed to meet the needs of Scotland’s most rural areas.
Built by Scottish firm Emergency One, each one will also carry a life-saving defibrillator.
And 32, 18-tonne fire engines will also shortly be welcomed into the SFRS fleet.
Chief Officer Hay continued: “The stark reality is that society is changing in Scotland.
“People no longer live and work in the same place – they travel and commute out of their towns and villages, and this can make it difficult to muster crews during the day.
“We need to change and adapt, to look at a more flexible but safe means of responding when our communities need us.
“These appliances and this technology is merely a first step as we move to empower our retained firefighters. This investment is a clear sign of our commitment to our retained firefighters and the communities they are dedicated to protecting.”
He added: “This is essentially a ground-up rethink of how we deliver our retained service – getting the right resources, in the right place, at the right time.”
Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham, said: “I was delighted to attend the live demonstration of these new firefighter appliances.
“The use of this proven technology will make a real difference in enhancing both firefighter and community safety whilst delivering environmental benefits in terms of fuel economy and water use.
“The introduction of these new vehicles is an important part of SFRS Service Transformation, which the Scottish Government is supporting through the investment of £15.5m additional spending capacity for the Service in 2018-19.
“Rural communities across Scotland will benefit from this investment and I am especially pleased to see that these new bespoke appliances are being built in Scotland by Emergency One.”