Watch Manager Leslie Chappell with Marden's fire crew and the new fire engine
The arrival of a new fire engine prompted a trip down memory lane for Marden firefighters as they marked the 50th anniversary of the village fire station.
As the station took delivery of the new vehicle, one of 29 smaller, slimmer fire engines being rolled out across the county, the crew took a nostalgic look to vintage photos taken when the station first opened.
While reflecting how fire-fighting and equipment has changed since the station was first built in Pattenden Lane in 1966, and to mark the retirement of their long-serving Watch Manager, Marden fire crew decided to recreated the historic images, with their modern-day equivalent.
Watch Manager Leslie Chappell, who has served at the station for over 23 years and is soon to celebrate his retirement, said: “There has been major developments in technology and fire-fighting methods over the years and it has been a privilege serve and protect my community and respond to a range of emergencies. Our crew is now kitted out with state-of-the-art personal protective equipment and the latest innovative fire-fighting equipment to effectively and efficiently tackle a wide range of fire and rescue incidents.
Crew Manager Andrew Wardley added: “We are really pleased with the new appliance and the tools it carries, and it has already been put to good use dealing effectively with a recent fire involving a large stack of straw bales. The crew is looking forward to using the new appliance to serve our community for many years to come.”
Weighing in at 12 tonnes – 6 tonnes lighter than KFRS’s other fire appliances - it is packed with specialist equipment and complies with the latest Euro 6 vehicle emission standards. As well as being lighter, narrower and more maneuverable, the new appliances are more fuel efficient so better for the environment. They are also £50,000 cheaper than existing models and will remain in service for at least 15 years.
Features incorporated into the new smaller fire engines include:
Thermal imaging camera - is like a set of eyes that can see through black smoke straight to the heart of the fire or to locate the casualty. Fire crews scan the building with the camera before going inside to locate the seat of the fire (where the fire is hottest). They can dramatically speed up the search for someone missing in a fire. A fingertip search in zero visibility can take seconds with the camera guiding crews. It can also be used to locate hotspots to prevent a fire spreading to neighbouring properties or other parts of the building
Fog spike – the spike punches holes through walls or roof tiles to allow a fine water mist to be sprayed from the outside - like a sprinkler system - which can suppress heat and dramatically reduce the temperature and spread of a fire before firefighters enter. They can be used within shared roof voids to create a fire break and stop fires spreading laterally, so property can be preserved more effectively. Almost all the water evaporates so water damage is significantly reduced and firefighting time can be cut dramatically. It also reduces the risk of backdraughts and flashovers making it safer for firefighters
Positive Pressure Ventilation Fan – these fans can be used to clear smoke and fumes from a property both during and after a fire
Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) – is a foam that uses less water than traditional firefighting methods so is more environmentally sensitive but provides rapid fire knockdown. It can be an advantage in rural areas where the water supplies may be limited or some distance from the location of the fire. It can also be sprayed on buildings and cars to form a protective layer and prevent a fire spreading onto neighbouring properties
Defibrillators/first aid - to help casualties at incidents and to respond to incidents as part of our co-responding to medical emergencies
Light portable pump and a submersible pump - these smaller, transportable pumps can be used to provide firefighting water in areas where the fire engine cannot get to. They can also be used to pump water away from a property during flooding
Larger capacity hose – these fire engines have larger hose reels which are more effective at extinguishing fires
Intelligent pump control system – enables the fire engine’s water pump to function electronically, freeing up firefighters for other duties at an incident.
Notes to editors:
· The new fire engines are 12 tonnes, 2.36m wide, 3.1m high and 7m long.
· Watch KFRS’s short virtual tour film to see the new fire engine
· For further details please contact the KFRS Press Office on 01622 212425.
Marden's new fire engine at a recent straw bale fire