The fire service is rolling out the new fleet of 33 18-tonne Scania trucks over the next two years. Before arrival, the crews are carrying out extensive driver and operator training. The total purchase price for the fleet was around £8m. In the meantime, teams have been carrying out familiarisation training at the Service's training centre at Waddington near Lincoln.
The vehicles carry 1,800 litres of water and 120 litres of foam compound onboard, and it includes a Godiva Prima 20/10 pump. Sixteen of the appliances have an ultra-high pressure Coldcut Cobra extinguishing unit onboard. So, in total, Lincolnshire FRS will have these piercing nozzles available at all of its 39 fire stations.
'Cutting edge' technology
The Coldcut Cobra system is an ultra-high-pressure cutting extinguisher that enables firefighters to tackle fires from the outside of buildings and other enclosed spaces. A special nozzle fitted on a lance emits water mixed with iron fillings at ultra-high pressure (400 mph). The material can cut through walls, steel and concrete up to 11in thick, leaving tiny holes. The cutting agent is then turned off before a fine mist of water is released directly onto fires.
The process significantly reduces the temperature around a fire without the need to enter the building, enabling firefighters to gain entry more quickly and safely. The ultra-fine mist in the compartment expands and suppresses the oxygen, starving the fire of fuel. At the same time, the water in the droplets cools down the temperature in the room without damaging the contents.
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Group Manager, Dave Hopkins, explained: 'This equipment enables us to be more effective in fighting fires, with the situation more quickly controlled. That leads to a drastic reduction in water damage to homes.
'Most importantly, it will keep our firefighters safer because they can control the temperature before they enter a building. It has more than delivered on what we expected and will certainly save lives.'
The design team implemented many improvements to the equipment, including:
• 22mm hose reels providing improved flow at the branch
• longer roof ladders (now 6m length)
• onboard charging for handheld radios
• new thermal imaging cameras and torches
• additional road traffic collision equipment, including impact drivers and portable winches.
The 9.3-litre engine and Allison fully automatic transmission (with Retarder) combination, will offer improved acceleration and braking.
Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire, Les Britzman, said: 'As well as being able to carry more water, and foam, the new appliances will carry better rescue equipment for road accidents, the latest generation of lighting and ladders and a whole host of features that will make our response in emergencies even better. The engines will also meet the latest emissions ratings, reducing our carbon footprint.
'The new appliances and equipment represent a significant investment by Lincolnshire County Council and will give the best level of emergency response right across the county. I believe the new equipment will also make our firefighters some of the best protected in the country – exactly what they deserve for their dedication to the service.'
Image: Tupungato / Shutterstock.com. The image is not the same as the one referred to in the article.