Our equipment

  • photo of hose reel in fire engine locker

    Hose reels

    These are connected to the fire engine and are the black or yellow hoses you see stored on reels.  They are used for smaller fires or fires that do not require large volumes of water.

  • photo of a hose jet rolled up

    Hose jets

    These hoses are more powerful than the hose reels and pass larger quantities of water.  They need two firefighters to operate them as they are so powerful - one stands in front and controls the nozzle and the other stands behind and supports the front firefighter.  When firefighters arrive at a fire and need to use these hoses, they first run them out and then attach them to the back of the fire engine to connect them to the pump and water supply.  Afterwards, when they are finished, firefighters run them over their shoulders to clear any remaining water inside them, and roll them up again.

  • photo of firefighter with a ladder

    Ladders

    There are four ladders stored on top of a standard fire engine, of different heights, that are used for different purposes. The 13.5 metre ladder is the longest of the four ladders. For safety, this requires four firefighters to carry and place it. There is also a nine metre ladder, a short extension ladder similar to a household ladder, and a roof ladder. There is also a step ladder on the fire engine which firefighters use to fit smoke alarms in people's homes.

  • photo of firefighter wearing a breathing apparatus set

    Breathing Apparatus (BA) sets

    There are four BA sets on board the fire engine and firefighters wear them when they are dealing with incidents where there is smoke or chemical fumes. They wear the cylinders of air on their backs like a rucksack and these are connected by a tube to a face mask which fits over the face and is secured by straps around the head. The sets have a gauge which is on the shoulder strap in the front and firefighters check this regularly to see how much air they have left in the cylinder. They can last around 30 to 35 minutes on average on one cylinder of air. After an incident the cylinders are re-filled using a compressor. 

  • photo of entry control officer writing on the BA entry control board

    BA entry board

    Each firefighter who enters a building or confined space wearing a breathing apparatus (BA) set is recorded onto the BA board. The identification tag from their BA set, which contains their name, is slotted into the board and the time they went in is written next to it. One firefighter has the role of entry control officer and is in charge of this board, signing people in and out. If a firefighter wearing a BA set gets in to trouble, or is running out of air in their cylinder, the identification tag sounds an alarm to alert the entry control officer and immediate action can be taken.

  • photo of cutters

    Cutters

    These are used primarily for cutting people out of vehicles following a road traffic collision (RTC).  They are extremely powerful with a cutting force of 95 tonnes, and can cut through metal like scissors cut through paper.

  • photo of spreaders

    Spreaders

    These are primarily used for releasing people trapped in their vehicle after a road traffic collision.  Their powerful jaws spread to approximately 70cm.  An example of their use is forcing open a car door if it cannot be opened after a crash.

  • photo of other tools to help firefighters when dealing with road traffic collisions

    RTC kit

    In addition to the cutters and spreaders, there are a number of other small tools on-board the fire engine to help firefighters deal with rescuing people from vehicles.  These include a windscreen glass protector, sharp object covers to warn firefighters there is a hazard underneath, pedal cutters (to cut car pedals), and a knife to cut seatbelt straps.

     

  • photo of a step block

    Step blocks

    These are wedged around parts of a car to prevent it from moving while firefighters are using the rescue equipment.

  • photo of 'do not cross' tape

    Do Not Cross tape

    This red and white striped tape is used to cordon off an area during an incident to protect the public and control access to the area.

  • photo of line bag

    Line bag

    A 'line' is a length of rope and firefighters use three different types:  There is a rescue line for lowering casualties from buildings; a general purpose line for hauling or lowering equipment and a guide line for when firefighters enter a smoke-logged building - they trail the rope as they go and they can then find their way out again by following the line back.

  • photo of scene illumination lights on top of fire engine

    Lighting

    On top of the fire engines are large powerful lights which can illuminate a scene in the dark.  There are also transportable lights in the lockers that can be rigged up away from the fire engine.

  • photo of a firefighter holding a thermal imaging camera

    Thermal imaging camera

    This device looks like a steering wheel and has a special camera in the middle which reads temperatures. There is a screen on the other side which the operator can see which shows hot areas by red patches. Firefighters use this mainly to look for hotspots in buildings to see if a fire has spread, or to locate a fire if it is not obvious from the outside of the building. They can also be used to find casualties in the dark as warm body temperatures contrast on the screen to the cold surroundings.

  • photo of firefighter wearing a gas tight suit and being hosed down

    Gas tight suits

    Gas tight suits are worn over a firefighter's usual protective clothing and BA set to prevent them from being contaminated by any dangerous substance, be it a solid, liquid or a gas. After the incident they are hosed down or stand in a portable shower to wash any dangerous particles away.

  • photo of a life jacket

    Life jackets

    Life jackets are worn by firefighters if they are working near, in or on water.

  • photo of firefighter using the Light Portable Pump

    Light Portable Pump

    Although there is a large and powerful pump within the fire engine, the Light Portable Pump is a smaller transportable one which can be moved to water supplies when the fire engine cannot get there.  A special hose with a filter on the end connects from a water supply to the pump and a standard hose jet is then connected from the pump.  It can also be used to pump water, for example flood water, away from an area in the same way.  For this a special suction hose is used. If larger quantities of water are required, or water needs pumping away in greater volumes, the High Volume Pump is used.

  • photo of first aid kit

    First aid kit

    All firefighters are first aid trained and carry a large first aid kit on the fire engine.  If fire crews arrive before ambulance crews and paramedics, they can provide emergency first aid to people who are injured.

  • photo of resuscitator

    Resuscitator

    As part of the first aid equipment, all fire engines have a resuscitator on board which is a cylinder of oxygen with a face mask attached. This is often used by firefighters to treat people who have suffered smoke inhalation from a fire.

  • photo of a defibrillator

    Defibrillator

    This is a medical piece of equipment which sends an electric shock to restart a person's heart.  At least one fire engine at all of our fire stations has a defibrillator on board.  If fire crews arrive at a scene before ambulance crews and paramedics, and a person suffers a cardiac arrest (their heart stops beating), firefighters are trained to use the defibrillator to help them.

     

  • photo of needle pick up kit

    Needle and syringe pick-up kit

    This allows firefighters to safely pick up and dispose of needles and syringes.

  • photo of environmental grab pack

    Environmental Grab Pack

    This contains putty to stop a leak, absorbent to soak up liquid and mats to put over drains to stop harmful substances from getting into the water supply.  They are mainly used during chemical spill incidents.

  • photo of chimney rods and hose

    Chimney rods and hose

    These special rods and hoses are used for dealing with chimney fires.

  • photo of sledge hammer

    Sledge hammer

    Useful tool for breaking down doors and gaining entry to buildings and houses if necessary.

  • photo of axe

    Axe

    There are large and small axes on the fire engines and can be used for all kinds of rescues and incidents. They are often used with the sledge hammer to gain entry to homes or buildings if firefighters have to force their way in to deal with a fire or emergency inside.

  • photo of an open toolbox

    Toolbox

    The toolbox contains all the equipment you would expect to find in a standard tool kit including a hammer, screwdrivers, spanners, a saw, pliers and a chisel.

  • photo of beaters

    Beaters

    Beaters are used to tackle field, grass and straw fires. Firefighters hit the flames with the beaters to put the fire out.

  • photo of two pitch forks

    Pitch forks

    These are used mainly for grass, field and stack fires. It is used like a rake to spread out mounds of straw, hay and grass so it burns out quicker or can be dampened down.   

  • photo of a broom

    Broom

    A broom is always handy to have - especially for clearing debris such as broken glass, at the scene of a road traffic collision.

     

  • photo of traffic cones

    Traffic cones

    If firefighters arrive at a scene before police, they can cone the area off to protect themselves (especially if on a road) and to cordon off the area.

  • photo of a Tirfor, or winch

    Tirfor

    A Tirfor is a winch. There is a larger winch on the rescue vehicles (see Rollgiss)

  • photo of an inflatable rescue boat on the water

    Boats

    The inflatable boats are used for on-water rescues. The boat and engine are stored separately on the rescue vehicle and quickly fixed together at the scene of an incident

  • photo of fully inflated ice path

    Ice path

    The ice path is an inflatable horizontal platform which can be used to rescue people trapped on ice, in water or in mud.

  • photo of the inflatable hose kit

    Inflatable rescue hose

    The inflatable rescue hose is filled with air and stretched across a river to act as a barrier, stopping any object or person from continuing along the water.

  • Firefighters wearing a dry suit

    Dry suits

    Dry suits help keep firefighters warm and dry when in the water and protect their bodies from cuts and scrapes. They wear their life jacket over the top and also wear a helmet to protect their heads. 

  • photo of the Rollgiss equipment

    Rollgiss

    The Rollgiss is a heavy duty winch which is used to lower firefighters and equipment into shafts or other similar confined spaces. It is also used to then winch casualties, equipment and firefighters back up.

  • photo of firefighters training using the paraguard stretcher

    Paraguard stretcher

    The paraguard stretcher is used for rescuing injured people from confined spaces. They can be strapped onto the board and winched up using the Rollgiss (see above).

  • photo of a low pressure airbag

    Airbags

    There are two types or airbag used for lifting - high pressure and low pressure. The low pressure airbag (pictured) is larger but the high pressure air bag can lift a greater weight.