Suffolk Fire & Rescue | The Equipment

Jon Southgate is a Station Commander, his role being that of Deputy District Commander of the South District of Suffolk’s Fire & Rescue Service.

 suffolk fire and rescue

Hello again & Happy New Year!

Following on from last month, I wanted to explain a little about the equipment we operate, to deal with the wide range of emergencies.  At Princes Street fire station we have one standard fire appliance (pump); now you might also hear it referred to as a truck, machine, fire tender / engine or even the big red lorry – and those are just what we call it!!  

We also have an Enhanced Rescue Tender (ERT), which has specialist equipment on for collisions and rescues and we also have one Unimog, off road appliance. Every appliance in Suffolk has a call sign relating to it’s home station, which can be confusing for the crew who might go out on each of the vehicles during any shift!

The pump is equipped with 4 sizes of ladder, its own 1800l tank of water, 4 sets of breathing apparatus, various interconnecting lengths of hose and a roll of hosereel tubing which our 1st line attack on most fires. There’s a portable pump on board which can be placed beside a river and with a different set of hose it can draw water from virtually any open water supply - but for those of you thinking we must squirt fish onto fires, don’t worry, there’s a strainer on the end to stop that!!

Along with 1st aid equipment including a defibrillator, hydraulic rescue eqpt, hand tools, chimney fire eqpt and chemical intervention / environmental protection eqpt, you’ll understand that there’s so much to learn even on just one vehicle….especially when you consider that every item has a test schedule!

On the ERT, there are air lifting bags to assist in lifting or spreading when the biggest set of hydraulic spreaders isn’t enough. We have a special platform that assists crews at a collision between lorries, stretchers, and some of the eqpt that’s carried on the pump.

Now, the Unimog is a new vehicle to us and tows a boat along with other specialist water rescue equipment. It’s used at rural fires and is fitted with a crane for large animal rescues.

So, from cutting rings off fingers with a battery powered cutter, to training aids such as a horse mannequin called ‘Brian’, or the training dummy called Fred (Fire Rescue Extrication Dummy); the array of kit is vast….just like the range of incidents we’re prepared for!

More next month, stay safe!