FIRE and rescue operations in West Sussex have been boosted by the introduction of a new aerial ladder platform into the service’s fleet.
The platform, which cost £600,000 and is based at Worthing Fire Station, has replaced a less versatile one which has been in service for 17 years.
David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for residents’ services, made the official handover at Worthing Fire Station last Wednesday.
He said: “I was delighted to officially hand over the keys of the new aerial ladder platform which is certainly an impressive asset for the county. I particularly want to thank station manager Roy Barraclough and all the members of the watch for their welcome and for the interesting and informative discussions we had.”
Adrian Murphy, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service area manager for operations, added: “This is a real boost to our operational response. The new platform is equipped to a high specification, can be used at a greater variety of incidents and is more economical to run than the old appliance.”
The platform is a multi-purpose appliance which can be used at a variety of fire and rescue incidents. It can extend to a height of 32 metres at 82 degrees elevation and will allow firefighters to rescue people from tall buildings or direct large quantities of water onto a fire from above. It can also be used to provide lighting or to monitor a fire from above.
The platform can operate in wind speeds of up to 28mph and reach a width of 20 metres and the standing platform can hold a load of 500kg. It will be in service into 2030.
The service has a second earial ladder platform in Horsham. Last year, these specialist appliances were called into emergency action 55 times.