SCOTLAND’s firefighters will soon be armed with the latest technology to tackle fires – capable of blasting through solid concrete and steel.
The Ultra High-Pressure Lances – branded ‘Coldcut’ – will enable crews to inject a fire suppressant through the wall of a burning building to more quickly douse the flames inside. Already used by fire and rescue services in 45 countries worldwide, it is also safer as crews do not have to enter the burning building to reach and extinguish the flames. The proven technology will now form one part of an arsenal of the latest equipment carried by 40 brand new, purpose-built fire appliances.
This represents a combined £7.6million investment by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) in the safety of the country’s most diverse, rural and remote communities. The move comes as the SFRS seeks to transform to meet new and emerging risks. Alasdair Hay is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer.
He said: “This proven firefighting technology means our crews can begin firefighting within seconds of arriving by cutting straight to the heart of the fire. 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 best tools for the job. The current operating model makes it difficult for us to ensure the availability of resources in rural areas. This new technology, combined with the state-of-the-art fire appliances and a more flexible crewing model will improve that availability – and create safer communities in the process.”
ACO Lewis Ramsay conducted a live demonstration of the new technology at Portlethen in Aberdeen for guests and staff. The bespoke appliances, built by Scottish firm Emergency One, can carry up to four firefighters, are agile and have been designed specifically to meet the needs of Scotland’s most remote geographical areas.
Additionally, 32 brand new 18-tonne fire engines will also shortly be welcomed into the SFRS fleet to protect communities across the country.
Community Safety Minister, Annabelle Ewing, said: “I was happy to have the opportunity to witness a live demonstration of these new firefighting appliances and technologies which will improve both firefighter and community safety at the same time as delivering environmental benefits.
“This investment will help SFRS to better meet the needs of rural communities, provide greater flexibility and significantly extend the Service’s firefighting capability.”