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08 January 2020

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service roll out innovative Rapid Response Vehicles

Two state of the art additions to Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service’s fleet in Arnside and Staveley are here to stay following the success of a six month pilot.

The innovative Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) are fitted out with ultra-effective and efficient firefighting equipment which are designed to meet the needs of a modern fire and rescue service and also the risks and demands of the communities it will serve.  

During the pilot period, the RRV has been proven to significantly increase the availability on these on-call stations. Figures show that there was an increase in availability of 27% from Arnside and 22% for Staveley during 2019 when comparing crewing requirements for a traditional fire engine.

This increased availability also means that firefighters can respond quicker as part of an initial attendance, or as a supporting resource. This earlier intervention at incidents can prevent escalation and therefore a reduction in the community impact.

Arnside and Staveley community Fire Stations successfully responded to a wide range of incidents with the RRV during the pilot that ranged from road traffic collisions to property fires utilising the RRVs multiple capabilities and equipment which provided an effective and efficient response. 

Cumbria County Councillor Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue said:

"I’m absolutely delighted that we are welcoming these fantastic vehicles to our fleet on a permanent basis following the hugely successful trial. It's clear that they bring benefits in providing quicker response times and will ensure we're able to effectively match our resources to both demand and risk.”

Chief Fire Officer, Steve Healey added: “Over the course of the trial we have seen a positive increase in the availability of our emergency resources in both Arnside and Staveley as a result of these new ways of working.

"New technology and procedures mean that these vehicles can be crewed by three fire fighters and increases the availability of our resources in areas of relatively low risk and low demand and are supported by other resources from nearby fire stations.

“They are equipped to be able to respond to, and deal with small incidents on their own and can also attend more serious incidents, such as house fires and road traffic collisions, alongside standard fire engines, and other resources.

“The benefits that the RRVs bring are that they are far more flexible and agile than our full sized appliances. They are all-terrain and given some of the challenges we have in these rural areas and with severe weather events that can make areas hard to reach, these vehicles will be invaluable in providing immediate intervention to saves lives and prevent escalation of incidents.”

The successful introduction of the Rapid Response Vehicles in Arnside and Staveley means that the traditional fire engine is no longer required at these stations and will be removed in the coming weeks and moved around within the Fire and Rescue Service, ensuring that the right resources are in the right areas at the right time.

The full evaluation report from the six month trial can be found on Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service's webpages.

Two state of the art additions to Cumbria County Council's Fire and Rescue Service’s fleet in Arnside and Staveley are here to stay following the success of a six month pilot.