Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has unveiled three new vehicles which are packed with the latest technology to support firefighters at emergency incidents.
The Command Support Vehicles will typically be used as a hub at large, complex incidents, from which officers can manage operations and work with other emergency services.
The service has invested £360,000 in the new units which replace the three existing vehicles.
Some of the new features on the vehicles include:
- Dedicated WiFi, enabling officers at the scene to quickly stream and share data, images, footage and plans with colleagues who are based remotely, for example at the Combined Fire Control Room
- LCD display built into the side of the vehicle, allowing officers to share content with other agencies attending an incident, such as live drone footage and plans
- Latest communications and computer technology with access to live information, weather reports, data on substances and chemicals, and direct contact with other agencies and services
Councillor Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “With these new, more advanced vehicles in the fleet, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service has even better tools at its disposal to take command of incidents.
“It’s important that the service continues to invest in such equipment, so that staff and crews can carry out their jobs to the best of their abilities, and are safe whilst doing so. In turn, this helps us to protect Suffolk’s residents.
“In the last couple of years, our firefighters have been kitted out in new uniforms and we’ve introduced three new appliances to the fleet. We are currently refurbishing Princes Street station in Ipswich and planning the construction of a brand new blue light station in Stowmarket. Our next projects include bringing in four new appliances which have enhanced tools to support at road traffic collisions, as well as updating breathing apparatus sets, handheld radios and IT.”
Dan Fearn, temporary Chief Fire Officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Just two minutes after we had taken some photos for the launch of these vehicles, one was immediately requested to support at a forest fire in Brandon Park. Once at the incident, the drone was sent up and officers could view live footage on the large LCD screen on the side of the vehicle.
“These vehicles play a crucial role in our operations, and really act as a command centre when they are required at incidents. Having a physical focal point for all emergency services and agencies is key to managing the incident. I think back to events such as the large fire at the former Fisons site in Bramford, where these vehicles were at the heart of our planning and management of the incident.
“It’s great to see these new vehicles fully kitted out and at their stations, ready to respond wherever they’re needed across the county. I’d like to thank all our staff who have been involved in getting the vehicles prepared and on the road, it’s been a great team effort.”
The three new Command Support Vehicles will be strategically based across the county at Beccles, Ixworth and Woodbridge fire stations, but will be ready to respond to emergencies anywhere in the county.