A brand new firefighting vehicle will be launched at Stafford Fire Station next week.
"This new vehicle has been purposely designed to deal with these types of incidents, particularly as it can get to areas where a normal fire appliance can’t access."
Assistant Area Commander for Stafford, Paul Richins
The Targeted Response Vehicle, more commonly referred to as the TRV, is specifically designed and equipped to deals with small incidents, such as car, minor grass and bin fires. When not responding to emergency incidents the vehicle’s crew will have community safety and arson reduction responsibilities for the Stafford Borough. This will involve them carrying out home fire risk checks, ensuring derelict properties are secure, identifying arson hot spots and engaging with the community at events and talks.
The vehicle will be officially launched at the fire station on Friday 30th July and will start operating the following Monday.
The £100,000 vehicle is a Mercedes Sprinter which carries 800 litres of water, and is fitted with state of the art firefighting equipment as well as full CCTV technology. The TRV will be crewed by two teams of three to four firefighters who will rotate shifts from 10.30am - 10.30pm daily. The TRV has advantages over normal fire appliances because it is smaller and can therefore access fires off the beaten track more easily, this is particularly important for incidents such as grass fires.
The vehicle has been brought in to replace the second fire engine at Stafford Fire Station which will move to the brand new Rising Brook Community Fire Station, at the other side of Stafford, which opens on 2nd August.
Stoke-on-Trent have had a TRV since 2007, whilst Newcastle under Lyme and Burton-on-Trent have had their vehicles for 18 months now. Burton’s TRV team won the publicly nominated “Fire and Rescue Professional of the Year” award at the Service’s MORE awards this year for their work with homeless people.
Assistant Area Commander for Stafford, Paul Richins said: "The success of the TRVs in other areas of the County has been evident – Stoke-on-Trent’s TRV attended over 500 incidents last year and it carries out 100 – 150 hours of community safety every month. It has dealt with a large number of small incidents which has meant that the standard appliances have been available to attend more serious, possibly life threatening incidents.
"Unfortunately a large proportion of fires we attend to now are small, deliberately started fires - this new vehicle has been purposely designed to deal with these types of incidents, particularly as it can get to areas where a normal fire appliance can’t access."
Watch Manager for the new TRV, Karl Wood-Emery commented: "We’re really looking forward to getting the new vehicle out there; it’s going to be a new and interesting challenge for us all. From my own experience I know just how many small fires we get called out to on a daily basis, so hopefully this will relieve the pressure on the main fire appliances."
The TRV will be launched at an event on Friday 30th July. Partner agencies including the police and local dignitaries, including Councillors have been invited to the event which will take place at the station from 11am – 12.30pm.