Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service has commissioned the UK’s first five new generation Scania rescue pumps into service.  Two of the vehicles will be based in Telford, two in Shrewsbury and one in Baschurch.  Scania is now providing training for the Service’s instructors, who in turn will deliver training to the operational crews.  Once all training has been completed, the vehicles will join Shropshire’s 26 other Scania appliances in providing frontline fire-fighting and rescue services county-wide.

Shropshire’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Myers comments, “We took our first Scania vehicles back in 2006, since when they have been proving themselves as reliable, robust and dependable members of our fleet.  We are now delighted to be making a little bit of history by becoming the first UK operator of new generation Scania pumping appliances, and look forward to them giving us and the public we serve many years of excellent service.”

Based on Scania’s P 360 B4x2NB chassis, the 18-tonnes gross vehicle weight appliances are all equipped with Scania nine-litre 360 horsepower engines driving through fully-automatic Allison MD4000 six-speed gearboxes.  To maximise safety in operation, each vehicle is equipped with Scania’s all-steel crew cab, four of which are configured with six seats and one of which has nine.  To further enhance crew safety, Shropshire has specified side curtain air bags which provide high levels of protection in the event of a roll-over.

“Safety is obviously a major concern for any Fire & Rescue Service, and the Scania crew cab unquestionably represents the state-of-the-art,” says Andrew Kelcey, Head of Resources for Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service.  “That, together with the proven quality and performance of the product and the service and support infrastructure provided throughout Shropshire by our local Scania dealer, West Pennine Trucks, are key factors underpinning our decision to continue purchasing Scania.”

The appliances’ bodywork has been custom built to Shropshire’s own specification by Emergency One (UK) Limited.

“Due to the rural sparsity of our area, these vehicles have been designed to meet our Enhanced Rescue Pump criteria,” explains Martin Barclay, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Vehicle Contracts Manager.  “This includes a 3,000-litre water tank and the ability to carry sufficient fire and rescue equipment to meet our operational needs.  Some of our rural stations can be operating stand alone at incidents and the resources on these appliances enable the crews to operate safely and effectively until support pumps arrive.  Fully laden, our trucks weigh in at 16-tonnes, making the Scania 18-tonne chassis an ideal option for us.”

Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service provides its frontline emergency service to the area’s circa 460,000 residents by way of 23 strategically-located stations across the county.  Of these, three are whole-time stations, with on-call fire-fighters operating out of 22 locations.