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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire Engines get State of the Art Technology

Peter Dartford looks at MDT
Chief inspects MDT

Fire engines in Staffordshire have been fitted with new state of the art equipment to assist them when they are en-route to emergency incidents.

This investment, provided by the Communities and Local Government department, is a great step forward for the Service.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford

69 fire engines and specialist appliances in the County have been fitted with mobile data terminals which have various features including mapping systems, information about the nearest hydrants, vehicle hazard data to be used at car crashes and risk assessments for various buildings, including high risk premises.

Before now crews had to rely on hard copies of information that was all carried on the fire engines. This system brings all of this information together onto a computerised screen and firefighters can then just do a search for the information they require.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Peter Dartford said: "This investment, provided by the Communities and Local Government department, is a great step forward for the Service.

"These mobile data terminals will not replace the knowledge that firefighters have to acquire and maintain, it just brings all the information together onto one easy use system, rather than relying on numerous paper based files."

19 firefighters across the service have completed an advanced training course on the new mobile data terminals, which has then enabled them to deliver training to all front-line operational crews across Staffordshire.

Leek Firefighter, Andy Guy commented: "What many people don’t realise is that when we are on our way to an incident we aren’t just sitting on the engine waiting to arrive at the scene – we are actually are gathering various information that will assist us ready for when we arrive.

"So if we are going to a large high risk premises, we can bring up a map of the layout, allowing us to familiarise ourselves with the building.

"Or, if we are going to a fire in a rural area, which we often do in the Moorlands, we can use this system to quickly identify the nearest available hydrant for us to tap into for additional water. "

The mobile data terminal is fitted to the cab of the vehicle next to the front passenger seat, which is where the most senior firefighter sits en-route to an incident. The systems are fitted to all engines and the larger specialist appliances.