Firefighters’ new weapon

Flying high: controller Robert Hoyle, commander John Musto and cage operator Steve Bowers
Flying high: controller Robert Hoyle, commander John Musto and cage operator Steve Bowers
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A REVOLUTIONARY fire-fighting machine is being used by crews in Calderdale.

The combined aerial rescue pump, based at Halifax fire station, combines the benefits of a traditional fire engine and a high-rise platform.

As well as all the tools of a standard fire engine, the machine incorporates a 4,000-litre-a-minute water pump and a high-reach platform with a 30-metre reach that can operate 12 metres below ground level.

Using it, crews should have more options for tackling fires and better rescue capability.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Director of Operations for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Steve Beckley said he was delighted the Halifax appliance and another in Wakefield are already proving their worth. He said: “This major project has represented a real challenge for our people working in operations, training and transport due to the appliances’ innovative capabilities.

“But they quickly grasped the challenge and have worked hard to deliver these new vehicles that have superior flexibility, greater effectiveness and provide vast improvements in firefighter and public safety,” he said.

“An important element of the project has been the close consultation with front-line firefighters who have been closely involved in the development.

“If the new appliances continue to be successful they may be implemented in other areas of West Yorkshire as part of our modernisation.”