New fire appliances

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New fire appliances thumbnailFully computerised system demonstrated by firefighter Derek Bell

RATHFRILAND and Kilkeel Fire Stations have received new fire appliances, writes Louise McDowell.

Christmas came early for the local crews last week as they were two of only six stations across Northern Ireland to receive the brand new, state-of-the-art appliances.

Rathfriland's Watch Commander Fred McCauley said it was great that the fire station was getting new investment.

Just eight years ago there was concern the town would be downgraded to one fire appliance and now its second engine has been replaced with this impressive model. Mr McCauley says it is great to see "investment in the town" by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS).

The new concept fire engine has been in the making for six years.

Mr McCauley says it has many new features that the older fire appliance does not have.

“The concept originated around six years ago and has been in the making ever since," he said.

“There was a need for them as none of the other vehicles had the capacity of four wheel drive and that is now one of these new engines' key features.

“It has enhanced flood kit capacities, it can wade up to 0.8m of water and has a pump to pump foam directly from the vehicle."

Mr McCauley said the new vehicle is equipped to travel in and around the rural and mountainous South Down area.

“It has been designed for the mountain terrain so it means we will be able to get where we need to be and get water to those areas or get our men on the ground as quickly as possible."

There is also a monitor on the front of the cab which can be used from inside the cab when the vehicle is moving.

“It has also been fitted with a winch and has a direct pull of five tonne.

“These are all added features which we have never had before in a fire appliance. It is going to be widely used in the South Down area.

“It has also been fitted to carry extra road traffic collision equipment," said Mr Macauley.

“There has been investment in a new station in Rathfriland, we have had new recruits and now a new fire appliance in the past few years. All this compared to eight years ago when there was a threat over one of the station's resources."


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