Firefighters to scale new heights

Coun Nick Forbes, left, and Tyne and Wear Fire Service watch manager Dave Summers.
Coun Nick Forbes, left, and Tyne and Wear Fire Service watch manager Dave Summers.
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Firefighters will be scaling new heights following the arrival of a new vehicle.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has added an aerial ladder platform (ALP) vehicle to its fleet.

The Bronto Skylift ALP is capable of reaching heights of up to 37m or 120ft, making it the fourth largest vehicle of its kind in the country and the largest in the North East.

It has the ability to reach the parapets of all bridges in the Tyne and Wear area, as well as high rise buildings, and will be used for firefighting, rescues and special services.

The new vehicle will come into service at the end of February, replacing the oldest ALP in the Tyne and Wear fleet, which is 15-years-old.

Coun Nick Forbes, vice-chairman of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority, braved the elements to experience the ALP’s capabilities at first hand.

He said: “This state of the art vehicle is an essential piece of kit that will help save lives in the future. It represents a significant investment in public and firefighter safety by the fire authority.”

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: “The new ALP is an integral part of the service’s planned fleet replacement programme.”

“It increases our capabilities when faced with incidents such the damaged shopping centre roof in Newgate Street, Newcastle last week.

“Our firefighters were able to go up in the ALP’s cage to make the roof safe after it was damaged by strong winds.”