Changing the face of the fire appliance.(Innovation)

Manufacturers have taken great strides forward in recent years, making appliances faster and more stable than ever before. But they are all still based on traditional commercial vehicle chassis, and that presents fundamental problems for the 21st Century fire crew, according to Avon Fire and Rescue's Fleet Engineer, Paul Beard. He told FIRE how he's been tackling these issues with a thought provoking concept vehicle

Modernisation' and 'health and safety' are buzzwords that seem to be everywhere in the Fire Service. Improvements in clothing and equipment come along on a seemingly daily basis as manufacturers and fire and rescues services strive to make firefighting safer. Ever increasing numbers of women and people from different ethnic backgrounds are joining the service too as the benefits of a workforce that reflects the community become clear.

The Fire Service is undoubtedly changing, yet we still use the same basic design of fire engine that saw service in 1947. Take a commercial vehicle chassis with an engine-gear-box-rear axle layout, and turn it into all appliance Of course the modern appliances are faster, more comfortable, and easier to work with, but the fundamental principle remains the same. …

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