New appliances help firefighters to reach new heights

NEW state-of-the-art firefighting appliances are helping firefighters in Greater Manchester to reach new heights and tackle a range of challenging incidents, including a recent major blaze in Hyde.  

Over the past 18 months, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has invested more than £2.5 million in four new turn table ladder (TTL) appliances. With a ladder reach ranging between 32 and 42 metres, they are among the highest articulated ladder appliances in use by UK fire and rescue services.

At the scene of a blaze in Hyde

In recent years GMFRS has been working to replace its appliances with new vehicles to ensure it is in the best position possible to tackle a range of incidents and keep people safe.

These new specialist appliances have replaced older aerial appliances and have been delivered to Manchester Central, Stretford, Whitehill, and Bolton Central stations. Three of the four assets are already being used to respond to incidents in Greater Manchester. The final appliance at Bolton Central will commence shortly once training is completed.

The appliances have a range of uses at a variety of incidents, including tackling fires involving high rise buildings, allowing firefighters to tackle a fire from above or act as a vantage point for firefighters using handheld jets.

They can also be used while working with technical response units and pump crews to recover casualties from hard-to-reach places or lower or raise casualties safely.

The appliances have already helped combat a number of incidents, some recent examples include a large factory fire in Hyde in April.

Turntable ladder

Fifteen fire engines were called to tackle the incident which measured around 300m by 200m.

The fire involved a range of buildings across the site, some of which were three storeys tall, and the roofs of several were well alight.

Three turn table ladders were deployed to fight fire from above. Some of them were then used to bridge onto an adjoining building’s roof to provide safe access and a riser for handheld jets to extinguish deep seated hotspots.

GMFRS assistant county fire officer Dave Keelan said: “Public safety is our number one priority and these new appliances have already been put to great use by our firefighters to tackle incidents quickly, efficiently and safely.

“GMFRS will continue to invest in our frontline services to ensure our firefighters are equipped with the latest technology and equipment to deliver the most effective response possible.

“Incidents such as the ones highlighted show already why this investment has been so important, allowing us to tackle these fires and keep people safe.”

GMFRS area manager Jon Aspinall added: “We want to ensure GMFRS is at the forefront of the latest firefighting and rescue technology and these turn table ladders are just the latest way we are doing this.

“We will continue to demonstrate the focus of our ongoing investment into the communities of Greater Manchester.”

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