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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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New fire engines take to Cumbria's streets

New state-of-the-art fire appliances have arrived on Cumbria’s streets.

Firefighter photo
Firefighter Chris Wilson with the hose

The county’s fire and rescue service has bought five Volvo Enhanced Rescue Pumps (ERP) which combine the roles of a traditional fire engine with those of a major rescue unit, used at incidents such as vehicle accidents and floods.

The vehicles include equipment such as inflatable rafts and winches. The hoses use an air foam system, which is designed to cut the length of time needed to extinguish a fire and reduce the amount of water used.

They are designed to allow firefighters to attend any incident and have all of the materials and equipment they will need in one place without any need to call for extra help.

These ERPs are also fitted with a CCTV system, which the firefighters can use to see what is happening around the vehicle.

Mark Lancaster, crew manager at Carlisle West fire station, where one of the vehicles is based, said it would be useful at times such as Bonfire Night when firefighters can come under attack.

He added: “It has a complete capability, not only for fires but rescues, like road traffic collisions. It has got a lot of equipment in there.”

The crew are already using the ERP but it is only being used as a standard fire engine while other stations complete their training. All will “go operational” on the same date.

Mr Lancaster added that the advantages of the new vehicle had not yet sunk in. “We have only had it a few days so it is all new to us,” he said.

Fellow firefighter Tony Paterson said: “We have now got more pieces of equipment at the same time and that is good for us.”

Liam Marr added: “It will be a brilliant bit of kit.”

The appliances will be based in Carlisle, Penrith, Workington, Kendal and Barrow.

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