Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is running an innovative pilot project to explore alternative ways to deal with incidents.
"This is a really innovative pilot project which has attracted interest on a national stage. Despite the fact that the vehicle is much smaller than a standard appliance, it still carries all the necessary kit which has been tailored specifically to the needs of the area in which it is based."
Group Manager Rob Barber
The Staffordshire Efficient Response Operation (SERO) is being trialled in Newcastle for six months.
It is a four by four vehicle which uses less fuel than a standard fire engine and can be crewed by just three firefighters rather than the usual five-strong crew.
It is significantly cheaper to purchase than a traditional appliance and the running and maintenance costs are less.
The pilot is one of a number of projects that Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is looking into in order to provide an even more efficient and effective emergency response for the county’s residents.
As part of the trial, the Service has developed a water misting nozzle for hoses which allows firefighters to use less water when tackling blazes.
An innovative backpack system which enables crews to put out small fires in remote locations is also being piloted. This saves time and energy as it means that firefighters don’t have to drag a heavier, standard hose over difficult terrain.
The backpack has compressed air and water which uses misting technology to extinguish fires. The misting nozzle is also less harmful to the environment than conventional firefighting equipment.
By having a thorough understanding of the type, nature and frequency of incidents that are taking place, the Service can make informed decisions regarding vehicles and equipment.
Group Manager Rob Barber, who has led the project, said: "This is a really innovative pilot project which has attracted interest on a national stage. Despite the fact that the vehicle is much smaller than a standard appliance, it still carries all the necessary kit which has been tailored specifically to the needs of the area in which it is based.
"In Staffordshire, we are always looking to provide our communities with a first class service that is both efficient and effective while continuing to identify savings where possible. If the SERO vehicle proves to be successful in tackling fires, which we strongly believe it will be, we will be in a position to decide where the most beneficial locations are across the county to base other SERO vehicles at."