Two brand new, high-tech fire engines are now in use at London Southend Airport – the first airport in the UK to introduce this type of cutting edge technology in front line operations.
The vehicles are designed to deliver a foam blanket to the scene of an aircraft incident, and for that purpose they carry 8,000 litres of water and 1,000 litres of foam.
Uniquely, they are also designed so the foam delivery can be operated from the cab of the vehicle - which is a significant safety feature as, amongst other things; it prevents firefighters having to climb up onto the roof whilst driving to an incident.
The foam producing monitor is operated from the cab of the vehicle using a joystick control.
The new fire engines are on Scania 6-wheeled commercial standard road chassis, as opposed to a specialist one designed uniquely for airport use.
This gives London Southend substantial maintenance and operating advantages over the usual specialist chassis vehicles normally operated at airports.
The two new fire engines have been supplied by Yorkshire based Angloco and cost in the region of £1 million for the pair.
London Southend Airport Managing Director Alastair Welch “We are constantly investing in our safety and security at the airport as it is our number one priority, so we are very pleased these vehicles are now operational.The firefighters who have been trained in their use all say how easy and simple they are to drive and operate.”
As a fully functioning regional airport, London Southend has its own fire station on site which provides cover 24/7 and employs 39 members of staff in total.
The fire station is fully manned daily from 6am to 12.30am (from before passengers board the first flight of the morning until the last crew member has left the aircraft on the final flight of the evening), in support of passenger related operations.
There is a smaller crew overnight. The fire station has an array of specialist equipment – this includes three major foam tenders, with two able to respond at any given moment.
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