DUMFRIES and Galloway firefighters will soon be armed with the very latest firefighting equipment – capable of blasting through concrete and steel.
The Ultra High Pressure Lances will enable crews to tackle the fire quickly from outside of the building by injecting high pressure suppressants through walls and doors.
This state-of-the-art equipment will enhance the Service’s existing capabilities in the area, improving both public and firefighter safety.
And the proven technology will be carried by a bespoke new fire engine to be based at Annan and Drummore Community Fire Stations, representing a £400,000 investment in the safety of the area’s most rural communities.
The move comes as the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service seeks to transform to meet new and emerging risks.
Area Manager Hamish McGhie is the Service’s Local Senior Officer for Dumfries and Galloway.
He said: “This technology is fast, efficient and proven – with it our crews can begin firefighting within seconds of arrival by cutting straight to the heart of the flames.
“Combined with this new state-of-the art appliances our retained and volunteer firefighters will be able to respond quickly and decisively to keep saving lives in Dumfries and Galloway's most rural areas.
“But crucially, we will be able to fight many fires without putting our firefighters’ lives in danger by sending them into a burning building.
“Our retained firefighters are absolutely dedicated to protecting their communities – and we are arming them with the right tools to do just that.”
Stations across Scotland, from Annan and Drummore to Troon in Ayrshire and from Papa Westray on the Orkney Isles to Denny near Falkirk, are amongst the volunteer and RDS stations which have been identified to benefit from the investment.
The bespoke appliances can carry up to four firefighters, are more agile than their traditional counterparts and have been designed to meet the needs of Scotland’s most rural areas.
Built by Scottish firm Emergency One, each one will also carry a life-saving defibrillator.
LSO McGhie continued: “Our rural communities are changing in Dumfries and Galloway.
“People no longer live and work in the same place – they travel and commute out of their towns and villages, and this can make it difficult to muster retained crews during the day.
“We need to change and adapt, to look at a more flexible but safe means of responding when our communities need us.
“These appliances and this technology is merely a first step as we move to empower our retained firefighters. “